Exploring the relationship between individual tax culture and Schwartz’s higher-order personal values among accountants as taxpayers in Slovenia

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The OECD has called for a stronger and more dynamic sustainable tax-paying culture that countries must cultivate and a more robust ethical profile for individual taxpayers. The individual tax culture might vary in the significance attributed to values influencing taxpayers’ perceptions toward taxation. As the hierarchy of values can be influenced through manipulation, policymakers can leverage knowledge of the relationship between higher-order personal values and individual tax culture to enhance tax revenue collection. This study aims to measure the relationship between Schwartz’s higher-order personal values and taxpayers’ culture, assessed through attitudes toward tax evasion, tax compliance, and the tax system. A survey was administered to the Slovene taxpayers (69 accountants and 130 non-accountants). The assumption was that the personal values system of accountants ought to underpin their ethical tax decision-making because of the professional accountants’ ethical codes. As professional accountants play a crucial role in maintaining stability for businesses, they hold a significant position in ensuring the effective operation of taxation systems. Exploratory factor analysis was used, and the analysis was carried out using the principal component method. The findings indicate that some higher-order personal values, particularly self-transcendence (r = 0.244) and self-enhancement (r = –0.403), are significant in explaining ethical behavior. Within the self-enhancement value, power and achievement strongly influence the ethical behavior of accountants. The perception of power associated with their expertise makes accountants less tax-compliant. Conservation values are of greater importance for non-accountants (r = 0.280). The results enhance comprehension of values’ influence on ethical decision processes.

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    • Figure 1. Designed research model
    • Table 1. Explanation of variables
    • Table 2. Descriptive statistics
    • Table 3. Hypotheses testing
    • Conceptualization
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Data curation
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Investigation
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Methodology
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Project administration
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Resources
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Supervision
      Lidija Hauptman
    • Validation
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Writing – original draft
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Writing – review & editing
      Lidija Hauptman, Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Formal Analysis
      Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Software
      Aleksandra Hlastec
    • Visualization
      Aleksandra Hlastec