However this was a non issue as the researchers tax agency ceased to operate in

However this was a non issue as the researchers tax

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However, this was a non-issue as the researcher’s tax agency ceased to operate in December 2005 and the first interview took place in November 2006 with SME participants who were unrelated to the researcher’s tax agency. AUTEC gave their approval to proceed with this research on 12 July 2006, with AUTEC reference number 06/92. AUTEC required the following measures to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of subjects. Prior to the actual interview, the purpose of the research was verbally communicated with the participants. A copy of the research purpose and the consent form was sent for them to peruse before the actual interview, and a signed hard copy was obtained at the commencement of each interview. A copy of the research purpose and consent form can be found in Appendices 3 and 4, respectively. In the informed consent process, individuals were provided with explicit details about the project so that they could make an informed decision to participate or not. In the consent form, advice was included on issues of voluntary participation, the option to withdraw any time without giving reason, the freedom to ask questions, and the contact details of AUTEC personnel in case of any problems. AUTEC also required the researcher to understand the protocols of the Treaty of Waitangi, especially when interviewing Maori participants. The researcher is mindful of the protocols relating to researching Maori participants, as discussed in section 5.4.2. One signed copy of the consent form was given to the participant and one was retained by the researcher for her records. With the participant’s consent, all interviews were tape recorded and transcribed by the researcher. Tape recording was important as it provided a record for what was discussed, it allowed the researcher to concentrate, and showed respect to the participants (Rapley, 2007).
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76 Confidentiality of participants was given the utmost priority, to encourage them to participate in this research. Given the sensitive nature of tax compliance and to encourage willingness of collectivistic groups to participate, “no demographic information such as age, education, and income was requested during the interview – a sacrifice made to further reassure the respondents that their answers could never be connected with them as individuals” (Hessing et al., 1988, p. 408). To further protect confidentiality, participants were assigned code names and only the researcher maintained the master identity list. All identifiers of the participants and their clients were edited. Only this researcher had access to the personal computer on which the data was stored and this was password protected. Back-up data on external memory drives was kept under lock in a private cabinet in the researcher’s home. Master identity lists and audio recordings were stored securely to prevent unauthorised access and use, including the use of password protection on the researcher’s computer, removing identifying information about participants, and preventing unauthorised access to data.
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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