Global Q&A: ‘Do you think it’s unethical to cheat on your taxes?’

March 28, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

Every individual has a responsibility to pay taxes to fund public services was a common response when Epoch Times reporters from Spain to Austria asked locals:

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Nieves Hurtado, Lima, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Lima, Peru

Nieves Hurtado, 44, Housewife

I think it is unethical to evade taxes, because they provide funds to pay the salaries of policemen and teachers, and carry out improvements in the country. Currently, people still continue to evade taxes and coupled with the corruption of the authorities, the development of the country is not achieved.

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Marites Doronila, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (The Epoch Times)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Marites Doronila, 35, Librarian

Yes. Fortunately, we don’t pay taxes here in Dubai, but back in my home country, we do pay taxes in the Philippines. To cheat on paying taxes will affect the progress of the government development projects as well as the services provided to its citizens. 

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Rod McKinnon, Buderim, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Buderim, Australia

Rod McKinnon, 65, Retired Army Officer

It’s unethical to cheat on your taxes. The government clearly needs income to run the country, and you only pay tax on what you earn. So if you don’t earn it—you don’t pay tax on it.

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Lotta Olsson, Gothenburg, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Gothenburg, Sweden

Lotta Olsson, 51, Clergywoman

Yes, generally speaking I would say so, but there may be exceptions. If we want a society based on solidarity, everyone should contribute. However, sometimes I do have an understanding for small businesses that cheat a bit. But when the big corporations plan to avoid taxes, it is terrible.



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Tomislav Horvat, Roosevelt Island, New York, USA (The Epoch Times)

Roosevelt Island, New York, USA

Tomislav Horvat, 45, Veterinarian

No way, I don’t want to play games at all; it’s not a big deal, so I have to pay what I have to pay, this is how it works. … I’m not a big guy, so I don’t want to do anything really [wrong] because small money doesn’t work for me. If I’m gonna cheat, I’m gonna cheat a lot (laughs).

Vienna, Austria

Michael Klockow, 26, Business Administration Student

I’ve actually never given this any thought before because in my view paying your taxes is something that goes without saying. By some means taxes always come back to the taxpayer—it may be via roads that are built, or subsidies of certain industries, or in financial contributions. So the lives of people in the end are improved by the money of taxpayers. The country one is permanently living in one should also pay taxes in—that’s for the general good of everybody. I personally rather find it ethically questionable how some of our taxes are used! 

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Neusa Teresinha Rubio Giuliano, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil (The Epoch Times)

Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil

Neusa Teresinha Rubio Giuliano, 52, Cleaning Attendant

Yes I think it is unethical. [We] have to return to the government the money that is theirs; on the contrary you are stealing. If it has to be paid, then one has to pay taxes.

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Jesus Yela, Saragossa, Spain (The Epoch Times)

Saragossa, Spain

Jesus Yela, 66, Former Businessman

Yes, I think it is betraying your country. All the individuals in a country need to pay specific amounts of money to carry the costs that the country incurs to offer basic public services. These costs are covered with the taxes that all citizens pay so if some of them evade taxes, the rest have to compensate, or what is worse, public services have to be reduced.


Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in life?”