Lawyers and Tax Payment

Benjamin van Rooij, Wang Qiliang 

In this project, the Long Institute collaborates with Yunnan University School of Law to study what shapes tax payment by Chinese lawyers. The project is based on a half-year long local study with about 100 interviews of lawyers, tax officials, justice authorities and academics.

The study analyzes how lawyers see tax payment behavior and how they explain motivations to pay or not to pay taxes. It analyzes in particular how lawyers perceive risk related to non-payment of taxes, a risk most report, although state enforcement has been weak to non-existent. As such, the study allows a crucial view to understand how compliance can result even when enforcement is very weak. The results from this Chinese study are contrasted with existing ideas about tax evasion and compliance, as well as the legal service sector from U.S. and other relevant OECD and emerging market contexts.

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