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Social Network and Tax Evasion: Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence in Bangladesh

Kazi Abdul Mannan, Khandaker Mursheda Farhana and G. M. Omar Faruque Chowdhury

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper examines ethical and behavioral aspects of taxpayers, the financial condition of citizens, tax fairness, taxpayer services, complexities in the tax regime, tax rates, penalties and enforcement, and tax amnesties and the black economy. Primary data were collected by conducting a survey utilizing structured printed questionnaires. Secondary data were collected from project reports, government publications and documents, books, journals, reports, newspapers and electronic media. Empirical findings suggest that all these issues are associated with tax evasion in Bangladesh. We also find that eligibility in a social network increases the likelihood that others will take-up. This suggests that taxpayers affect each other’s decisions about tax avoidance, highlighting the importance of accounting for social interactions in understanding enforcement and tax avoidance behavior, and providing a concrete example of optimization frictions in the context of behavioral responses to taxation. The involvement and nexus of the three actors in tax policy formulation, implementation and compliance processes were examined. The empirical findings indicate the presence of this nexus which facilitates tax evasion. The high magnitude of tax evasion in Bangladesh is significantly acknowledged by respondents in the study. The empirical findings suggest that the absence of a participatory policy making process, lack of research into, and reform of, the tax system, short-term oriented and politically motivated tax policies, loopholes, anomalies and complexities of tax laws and policies are responsible for creating scope for tax evasion.

Keywords: Taxation; Social Network; Tax Evasion; Tax Avoidance; Network Centrality; Optimal Auditing; Network Model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H2 H20 H21 H22 H24 H26 H7 H75 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021, Revised 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc, nep-iue, nep-net, nep-pbe and nep-pub
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Published in The Cost and Management 2.49(2021): pp. 14-32

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