E8 I dont really have an issue at all for paying taxes as we can get some

E8 i dont really have an issue at all for paying

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are not used for the right reason.”(E8) “I don’t really have an issue at all for paying taxes as we can get some services back from the government . . . and the tax spending are all important and it is necessary to have those but I don’t always agree with how the money is being spent.” (E7) Having to account for and remit different types of taxes confounded European operators in this research, and consequently they expressed greater resentment towards the tax system. There are several factors contributing to this behaviour. First, the Europeans in this sample showed relatively low tax knowledge, as four of the nine operators admitted to having basic tax knowledge (see Appendix 9). Second, some did not mentally differentiate between provisional taxes and GST, as a third of them considered GST as part of their mark-up. This lack of mental differentiation between the different types of taxes is not new amongst SME operators (Adams & Webley, 2001). Third, their individualistic and masculinity traits caused them to view the progressive tax rates to be penalising them for their hard work:
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141 “I feel absolutely sick. We get so excited about getting the work and by the time we pay all the taxes like GST and Income Tax, it is all gone. We have been paying all these taxes and it took me one and a half weeks to understand. I almost burst into tears when I had to pay my provisional and terminal taxes because all of that hard earned money is just gone. It is just crazy and it is a horrible feeling because you feel that you are basically working for the government. I feel being ripped off and tax is a dirty word.” (E1) Their lack of tax understanding suggests some serious underlying business problems. For example, with GST collected and treated as part of their income meant that their business mark-up may be too low, and using the GST and PAYE monies to fund their working capital implies that the businesses may be under-capitalised. 8.4.3 Perceptions of tax spending by European operators The Europeans in this research were least satisfied with the overall government spending, particularly on welfare, as most of them had witnessed welfare abuse and beneficiaries’ irresponsibility. Their masculinity trait made them less tolerant of law- breakers and they viewed punishment as the solution to the problem, as discussed in Chapter 4, section 4.5.5. Being dependent on government assistance when not working contradicted their masculinity and individualistic traits, as they value self reliance and achievement through hard work: “There are certain sectors of our community in particular that is using the taxes heavily like the unemployment, health system, the prisons and that’s where the money is being spent. It is like being short sighted and band aiding the problem instead of addressing it.
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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