Higher Education Loans and Tax Evasion: A Response to Perceived Unfairness

Authors: AHMED, ELIZA1; BRAITHWAITE, VALERIE2

Source: Law & Policy, Volume 29, Number 1, January 2007 , pp. 121-136(16)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Abstract:

Australian higher education funding policy has been a contentious and emotionally charged topic on the political agenda since the introduction of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS). Under HECS, students have options either to pay upfront or defer payment. This article examines the implications for the Australian Taxation Office, which has responsibility for debt collection among students who defer HECS payments. Results show that HECS debt undermines tax compliance directly, and indirectly through perceived injustice. The path model demonstrates how perceptions of government policy can shape cooperation with government in other spheres.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9930.2007.00249.x

Affiliations: 1: Research School of Social Sciences,ANU, Assistant Director in the Research,Evaluation and Legislation Group,Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. 2: Centre for Tax System Integrity,and is now head of the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) Australian National University.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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