The present study interviewed 59 participants from three groups The first group

The present study interviewed 59 participants from

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70, rarely did many studies have more than 20 participants; most had fewer. The present study interviewed 59 participants from three groups. The first group comprised nine SME operators from each of the European, Asian, Maori and Pacific Island groups, totalling 36 ethnic operators. The second and third group comprised 15 business experts and eight tax practitioners who interacted with SMEs on an on-going commercial basis. Business experts and tax practitioners were included to corroborate the accounts of the ethnic SME operators as part of the triangulation process (discussed further in section 5.6.3) and to provide different perspectives of the tax compliance process of SME operators. This researcher felt that some data redundancy started to occur after seven interviews of each ethnic SME operator group. By the ninth interview, significant new data were not forthcoming and the researcher decided to conclude the section of the study using the operator groups at this point. More importantly, the business experts and tax practitioners were included to give an “etic” account of culture, as Hofstede (2001) claims that individuals may not be aware of their own cultural values. Similarly, McKinnon (1988) observes that “many aspects of behaviours which may prove important to understanding what is happening in the setting may be so entrenched and taken-for-granted by people that they are no longer consciously aware of those behaviours and their underlying rationale” (p. 39). Given that, it would be desirable to use other sources of evidence to comment on the cultural factors influencing tax compliance. The business experts were business employees/mentors/coaches, government representatives and advisors from the Inland Revenue Department, Enterprise New Zealand, the Chamber of Commerce, the Pacific Business Trust, Te Puni Kokiri, the Small Business Advisory Group, the Maori Women’s Development League, Business New Zealand and a Member of Parliament (also part of the current New Zealand Government). The tax practitioners chosen were sole practitioners, employees, managers and partners of small and medium sized accounting firms in Auckland whose clients were almost entirely SMEs. They were included to provide insights into the record keeping and tax filing practices of ethnic SMEs. Four SME operators and three business experts requested a copy of the interview questions before consenting to participate in the research. Only two Pacific operators
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75 turned down the request for an interview. They were willing to participate in the research but could not afford the time for an interview. Instead, they provided written comments on the interview questions. 5.5.5 Ethics approval and confidentiality Approval to interview participants was sought and obtained from the AUT Ethics Committee (AUTEC) prior to the interviews, due to the potential sensitivity of the information being requested from the participants. AUTEC prohibited the researcher’s tax agency clients from participating in this research due to conflicts of interest.
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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