Date of Award
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
School of Accountancy
Thomas J. Phillips
The purpose of this study was to analyze variables that potentially affect taxpayers' attitudes about income tax compliance. Phase one of the study focused on the relationships between four groups of variables and ethical perceptions of compliance behaviors. The four groups of variables follow: demographic variables such as age, education, and household income; personal characteristic variables such as idealism, relativism, conservatism, and religiosity; situational variables including an overall attitude about paying federal income taxes and impressions of the effectiveness of a number of law changes intended to make the IRS more responsive; and, consequential variables comprised of five dimensions of moral intensity, expectations of audit, and additional IRS assessments. Phase two of the study focused on the relationship between ethical perceptions and expected compliance behaviors.
The study sample was drawn from responses to a national survey of 3,109 individuals selected randomly throughout the United States. The primary analytical technique employed was hierarchical regression.
The results of phase one were mixed. No support was found with respect to demographic variables. Regarding personal characteristics, limited support was found with respect to both conservatism and religiosity. Among the situational variables, partial support was identified for two of the tax law changes-extension, in some circumstances, of the attorney/client privilege, and creation of a fund to support tax clinics for low-income earners. Regarding the consequential variables, while strong support was found for social consensus, only limited support was found for probability of harm, seriousness of consequences, and proximity. With regard to the results of phase two, strong support was identified for the relationship between ethical perceptions and expected compliance behaviors.
The relationship between the above variables and tax compliance behavior has not previously been analyzed. Accordingly, the study contributes to the literature by identifying several characteristics and situations that, to varying degrees, affect ethical perceptions and expected compliance behaviors.
Hays, Stanley Wayne, "" (2000). Dissertation. 161.