An examination of ethical standards for tax issues

Lawrence P. Grasso, Steven E. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the extent to which educational background and demographic factors are associated with students' personal standards for ethical issues involving tax professionals. Two hundred and twenty-three students about to complete an introductory tax course were given ten brief scenarios focusing on the ethical and professional responsibilities of CPAs with tax practices. For each scenario, the students were asked whether they believed the opinion or the situation described was considered appropriate under existing professional standards, and whether they personally believed the opinion or situation described was appropriate. They were also asked whether they believed evading taxes was immoral. The results indicated that female students had higher personal ethical standards for issues involving tax professionals than did male students. Exposure to a course in auditing (the accounting course generally having the most extensive coverage of ethical issues) was associated with higher ethical standards, but exposure to a general course on ethics was not. Students aspiring to be tax professionals had higher ethical standards for issues involving tax professionals than those that did not, but their beliefs about the morality of tax evasion were not significantly different. The implications of these and other results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-100
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Accounting Education
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Education

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