BUSL 204 Ethical Issue

 







BUSL 204 Ethical Issue


Tax Evasion


 

 Introduction

People generally pay more than 35% tax since most of us work for 65% of the time while rest 35% of the time we are thinking about tax evasion. This is one of the famous quotes by Rupert Murdoch and highlights the issue of tax evasion which is present in all business spheres in present age. With the help of present paper, concept of tax evasion would be explored in context to the article of Stewart (2012) named “Wealth does not tickle down it just- Floods offshore, research reveals”.

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Business ethics- tax evasion

With increasing amount of pressure in business organizations and volatile economic scenario in last few years people are forced to explore ways in order to reduce their expenses and to enhance overall profitability through businesses. With combination of human greed, recently we have witnessed area of unethical business practice wherein economic inequality has been exacerbated due to adoption of tax evasion practices. This is leading to extension in gap between rich and poor people across the world. Article in present context highlight one of the major business ethics issue for tax evasion which is leading to loss of assets for the offshore tax heavens. This article clarifies the process of ramification being used by the wealthy people for moving their assets to tax heavens in an attempt to reduce their tax expenses (Baron, 2012)

Safeguarding in health and social care

. Problem of tax evasion is present from the feudal era and tax should be looked from the perspective of macroeconomic intent. Money received through tax in a country would be used to fund the infrastructure prevailing in the country and to ensure that there is not much gap between poor and rich people living in the country. Tax is taken from us on the income generated in order to redistribute the assets in society and to provide us with the services of defense, social support and healthcare etc.

People generally tries to reduce their tax by deploying investment plans governed in the economic framework of a country while some people tend to avoid tax on their assets by making use of the tax heavens. Such tax evasion schemes are considered as the unethical and many of them are also illegal. Engagement in such business practice may lead to heavy fine or asset seizure from the government authorities. Living in a democratic world, one question arises “whether is it right to send personal assets in tax heavens for reducing their tax implications?” or in other sense “Is it morally correct to minimize amount of tax to be paid by businesses?”

Present paper would evaluate these questions but ethics is not about serving self but it is about doing what is morally correct despite of personal cost involved in it. In order to answer this question three ethical perspectives would be used i.e. virtue ethics, Kantian ethics and utilitarian ethics.

Virtue ethics     

Virtue ethics would consider the moral character exhibited by the human beings and how the traits exhibited would contribute or obstruct in order to allow a human being to have happy and meaningful life. In order to understand the application of virtue ethics in context to tax evasion, concept of egoism can be considered. Concept of egoism states that people only act out of self interest. One of the biggest challenges from concept of egoism would be the difference between selfishness and self interest (DesJardins, 2010). From the point of ethics we should act for the interest of others hence the concept of tax evasion can be considered as the greedy, narrow thinking and centered on the self interest. Hence concept of tax evasion adopts the virtue ethics.

Financial  management Assignment help

For a rich person sending money to tax heavens is the way to reduce their expenses towards tax but their country would lose on the funds which should have been received through taxing that person. These characteristics of a person are stemmed from selfishness and greed due to which rich people are sending millions of dollar outside their home country and involving into tax evasion. For tax heaven countries these funds are used in order to repaying their debt, developing infrastructure and stabilizing their economy by reducing tax and attaining money at low rate of interest. Present article draw attention towards one of the important issue wherein some of the poorest country in the world such as African countries took so long to come out of their debt but according to Stewart (2012) if they would have managed to take their rich people under tax net then these countries would not have to get under debt and such bad economic conditions. Example of countries such as Nigeria and Ivory Coast can be taken wherein Nigeria has lost approx $300 billion since year 1970 and Ivory Coast has lost about $141 billion in the tax heaven countries from the rich people in their country. Image if such big amount of money should have remained in the country and taxed by government then African countries should not have been into such poor conditions. Virtue ethics ask a person with basic question “Who am I ” and “What type of a person am I to be”? Can we ask a rich person in Africa “Would you bring your money in country so that same can be taxed and people can get sufficient resources through that tax”? All of us develop a moral character and this character would define “who we are”, “What we value” and “How we act”? Character of a person would reside in the habits and personality and people involving in unethical business practice (such as sending assets to tax heaven countries) would not be in position to lead proper fulfilling human life in accordance to the disciple of virtue ethics (Salter, 2009).

Kantian Ethics

According to the Kant’s ethics theory tax evasion process can be considered as the intentionally disadvantaging other members living in the society. This theory states that there are several things we should or should not do irrespective of the consequence for the event. Hence, according to Kent’s theory tax evasion is unethical & illegal and rich people should not do this irrespective of the fact that they are getting financial benefits by doing so. This theory suggests that it is not correct to involve into such practice as it is wrong on the principles. Kent’s theory places direct responsibility on individuals by stating “Do to others as you would have done to yourself”. Hence from the Kent’s theory it can be stated that by evading tax rich people are depriving lower society people from several benefits which they would have gained if rich people would have paid the taxes on their assets.

An important point raised in the present article is that wealthy people should not survive merely by reducing their tax through sending assets offshore but these people should be ready to be taxed and ensure survival of the people in lower communities (Guardian, 2012). In the present globalization world there is fierce competition in the market for the small businesses as they are exposed to competition from the MNC involving in outsourcing and this has lead to high amount of profits. These profits are ultimately leading to high amount of bonuses and increasing the gap between rich and poor people. Hence tax is not only important for the development of infrastructure but also to distribute money into effective manner between society so as to reduce gap between poor and rich people

 

Understanding specific need in health and social care

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In order to apply the Kant’s theory for the concept of tax evasion rich people in the country should be asked an important question that “In case you are one among the people affected by your decision of sending assets to tax heavens then would you regard this activity positive or negative”. Rich people should be posed a question whether decision taken by them should become the universal principle and whether they are aware of the implications for the decision taken by them. Finally, Kent infers from the event that we should act as per the universally applied principle and in case we are not satisfied with our decision then these should be avoided. So, the decision of sending personal assets in the tax heavens for evading tax does not meet the universal criteria and does not hold true which leads to mark it as unethical activity undertaken by rich people in society.

Utilitarianism

Concept of utilitarianism can be considered as important in order to shape the economics, politics and creation of the public policies such as taxation in the country. According to this act, any activity can be termed as ethical or unethical on the grounds of consequences which this activity has on the wider society. Hence this concept believes in the maximization of the goods for the large number of people living in society. This concept provides strong support for the policies and democratic institutions such as taxation (Wood, 2007). Hence over economy should support the living standards for large number of people not high amount of funds for the wealthy people only. A person with true opinion of utilitarianism would define the happiness as the average satisfaction among people and would assert the even distribution of funds between various societies present in a country. In case every person has modest amount of resources then it would create higher amount of satisfaction as compared to the situation wherein some people have access over most of the resources available in the country. Taxation is one of the important measure which nations can deploy in order to manage even distribution of funds so that inequality can be reduced from society and average satisfaction level among people is higher.

 

Unit 4 – Personal  and professional development in health and social care

With tax evasion by rich people through sending their assets to tax heavens there would be inequality in society giving overall a negative impact.  Inequality has been seen as increasing sharply in recent time and many countries have been affected with increase in inequality. With evasion of tax we are leading to minimization of overall goods for the all society members and opposite is being asserted by the concept of utilitarianism. However, main concern over utilitarianism would be widening gap between rich and poor people. Rich people are shifting their tax burden on poor people by shifting their assets to the tax haven countries. This is leading to higher dissatisfaction among the large number of people who are paying high tax despite of low income in comparison to the satisfaction obtained by small number of wealthy people by saving their tax. It is important for a country to ensure that money sent to tax heavens should be properly taxed and rich people should be forced to invest this money in their home countries. This would help in order to sort out major issues prevailing in society such as poverty, inequality and lack of resources etc (Wechsler, 2012).

Conclusion

After critically analyzing the present concept of tax evasion it can be said that government should try to reduce number of people involving in such activities as these activities are completely unethical and illegal as well. We should also review the tax laws in a country if they are too harsh but moreover we need to develop solution for this problem as it is quite delicate. Problem of tax evasion can be measured from the statement of Stewart (2012) which says if we are able to tax all the money which has been sent by rich people in tax heavens then we would be able to put African countries back of track. We must develop the ways in order to reduce the inequalities building in society by equal distribution of money through taxing the wealthy people and building infrastructure with the money obtained through taxes. This would help in order to create higher amount of satisfaction among the large amount of people who at present have been deprived from various services and resources available in countries.

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