Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The psyche of a tax cheat

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I can imagine that 'tax cheats' as defined by various taxation offices arise for a number of reasons. We do however have to make a distinction between breaches of arbitrary law, that may or may not have some legitimacy in the facts of reality, and ethical principles that indeed may recognise with the facts of reality.
Just like with any breach of law, you generally find people can be categorised as:
1. Those who act on convictions which have some basis in fact: These instances are often a basis for the government to modify the tax code, but its only changing what is already a bad system, rendering the tax code more complicated than ever.
2. Those who act on convictions which have no basis in fact: These are people acting on premises which they don't fully comprehend, leading to a rationalisation or an unintentional error in argument. The critical issue is whether they are for freedom or against tax. By that I mean, do they respect the rights of others to the product of their labour, or do they indulge in the belief that their rights to freedom constitute a claim on others rights.
3. Those who act without conviction for person financial gain: Those who profit from the tax act could be considered here, whether business people, academics or researchers reliant on government payments, subsidies or grants. These people are in fact evading the knowledge of their actions, though they know that their remuneration arises from taxation. We would have to exclude those who can demonstrate that they actually generate a profit through their activities.
4. Those who act without conviction for personal power: The designers of the tax act, the politicians, and the corporate fund raisers fit into this category.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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