Tax Evasion

Valerie Braithwaite

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199844654
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbook in Criminology & Criminal Justice

Tax Evasion

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Transactional Crime
  • Property Crime



This article briefly maps the domain of tax evasion and draws on the best data available from the United States to illustrate the magnitude of the problem. It reviews the scientific literature on the primary drivers of tax evasion. The nature and extent of tax evasion vary across contexts and time, depending on opportunity to evade tax and the enforcement processes in place. It illustrates tax evasion as a white-collar crime, the substance of which is sometimes poorly specified and changes with economic and social conditions. There is a brief review on the reasons for individuals evading tax and includes discussion about benefits, coercion, obligation, and justice. It considers some of the strategies that governments are using to try to rebuild the effectiveness and integrity of their tax systems to ensure future sustainability.

Keywords: tax evasion; white-collar; crime; strategies; sustainability

Article.  10559 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Transactional Crime ; Property Crime

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