Simon James

Simon James
University of Exeter | UoE · Department of Organisation Studies

BSc(Econ), MSc, MA, MBA, LLM, MEd, PhD

About

99
Publications
33,400
Reads
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1,874
Citations
Citations since 2017
15 Research Items
764 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Additional affiliations
September 1976 - present
University of Exeter
Position
  • Associate Professor in Economics

Publications

Publications (99)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Numerous studies have been done on various aspects of tax evasion in recent years. Some studies focus on compliance, while others examine more esoteric topics, such as optimum tax evasion. A third group of studies discusses theoretical issues, such as when tax evasion can be justified on moral grounds. A few studies have addressed the rela...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tax systems have become more complex due to developments in the economic, social and legal context over time. This complexity affects not only the taxpayers but also all society. One of the most important of these effects is increasing tax compliance costs. Tax administrations and governments have begun to implement a number of measures to simplify...
Article
Full-text available
Calls for the simplification of taxation are frequently heard but attempts to achieve actual tax simplification have rarely met with much lasting success. To investigate further, the present authors asked relevant experts to report on the experience of tax simplification in Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Thai...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Zealand (NZ) and the UK have attempted to simplify their tax systems. However one significant This paper examines general issues regarding the reasons for complexity. It then explores the potential selected taxes in selected countries. It finds some important differences in the complexity of the taxes scores better in terms of policy and legislativ...
Article
One of the key areas where behavioral economics offers major insights into developing successful policy involves issues of fairness. Taxation offers many examples, ranging from the Boston Tea Party of 1773 to the UK's unsuccessful community charge, often called the ‘poll tax', of the early 1990s, where a failure to appreciate fully taxpayers' per...
Article
Full-text available
Calls for the simplification of taxation are frequently heard but attempts to achieve actual tax simplification have rarely met with lasting success. To investigate further, the present authors asked relevant experts to report on the experience of tax simplification in Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Thailand,...
Article
Full-text available
Tax systems world-wide are becoming more complex for a variety of reasons. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand (NZ) and the UK have attempted to simplify their taxes but with limited success. The Complexity Index produced by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) in the UK is an important contribution in this field. This paper considers genera...
Chapter
Full-text available
It seems clear that simplicity in taxation has considerable potential advantages, but there are important reasons why tax systems become complex. In a paper presented at the Conference of the Tax Research Network (TRN) in 2014, the present authors reviewed progress towards simplification in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey and the UK, finding that at...
Chapter
Complexity has long been a feature of taxation in the UK. For instance, the original Act of Parliament introducing the income tax in 1799 was a complex document of some 152 pages so that the government felt it necessary to issue a guide entitled A Plain, Short and Easy Description of the Different Clauses of the Income Tax so as to render it Famili...
Research
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This book addresses the crucial balance between simplicity and the other objectives of tax design and reform, and suggests that reformers of the tax system should include simplicity as one of the key evaluators of any design or reform proposal.
Article
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This paper examines the role of tax simplification in the operation of a tax system as a whole and then uses that framework to analyse initiatives in Australia, NZ and the UK. We begin with the subject of simplification itself and what it can mean, and follow this with a discussion concerning how to simplify tax systems. The paper then focusses on...
Article
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The introduction of a broad-based consumption tax in the form of a value added tax (VAT) in the United Kingdom (UK) and goods and services tax (GST) in New Zealand and Australia was politically challenging at the time. This article provides the rationale for their introduction and the process of that introduction in different political contexts. It...
Technical Report
This report addresses a series of questions regarding the tax implications of Scottish independence or further devolution on the basis of an extensive interdisciplinary literature review covering both academic and professional publications and interviews with 19 experts. This investigation suggests that the tax implications of independence or furth...
Technical Report
This report addresses a series of questions regarding the tax implications of Scottish independence or further devolution on the basis of an extensive interdisciplinary literature review covering both academic and professional publications and interviews with 19 experts. This investigation suggests that the tax implications of independence or furth...
Article
The Henry Report on the future of the Australian tax system examined many areas of relevance to tax systems in general. One was the tax treatment of employment expenses. The Henry Report recommended that a new test should be introduced to narrow the definition of deductible employment expenses and that this test might be similar to the approach tak...
Article
This paper examines the contribution of behavioral economics to tax reform by examining two major reforms in the United Kingdom which may be seen as natural experiments – the reform of local taxation and the introduction of value added tax. The case for both was based strongly on mainstream economic analysis but one was a failure and the other a su...
Article
Tax Administration is a risky business. When taxes are not well administered, tax morale may be undermined and unnecessary administrative and compliance costs incurred. Mainstream economics and the self-interested rational choice model provide a powerful contribution to understanding the effects of taxation but that analysis has not always been eno...
Book
'I have known Simon for many years, through working in our respective roles as committee members for the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Simon has an extremely wide knowledge of taxation matters, which is ably demonstrated in this dictionary of tax terms and phrases. It is an essential guide in unraveling the mysteries of professional "tax talk" f...
Article
Full-text available
This project examined the reasons why small businesses did not disincorporate even when that seemed to be an appropriate course of action. One of the main obstacles identified was that the tax system, among other things, could impose a large capital gains tax charge in these circumstances. Three surveys were undertaken. The first asked Chartered Ac...
Article
A collection of contributions to the study of tax compliance Funded by Economic and Social Research Council award number RES-000-23-1595 ‘Optimum Tax Compliance Costs and Tax Simplification’
Article
This paper extends previous work presented at the SABE/IAREP conference at St Mary’s University, Halifax (James, 2009). In the earlier paper it was shown that conventional economic theory is used to make the case for tax reform but does not always adequately incorporate all the relevant factors. However, an approach based on behavioral economics ca...
Article
Knowing how to encourage honest tax reporting by small business proprietors is a nontrivial issue. Sole proprietors represent an important group of taxpayers to examine, because they have both a high cost of compliance and a high opportunity for noncompliance. At the same time, tax agencies need to balance the high costs of noncompliance with the h...
Article
This paper examines issues affecting the formulation of tax policy through to the development of actual proposals by tax policy-makers. This is done taking account of the possibility that too narrow an approach to this process can produce misleading conclusions and that proposals for tax reform may be inappropriate when the wider context of the tax...
Article
Full-text available
The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) generated a natural experiment in which UK universities strove to achieve the best results they could for their research and teaching. A review of the two exercises and a discussion of the relationship between university teaching and research appear in James (2005). This...
Article
Full-text available
This study compared the attitudes toward online shopping of British and American individuals. Using a sample of 327 British and American university students, the British respondents were found to have less favorable attitudes toward online shopping. Attitudes toward online shopping were found to be significant predictors of making online purchases....
Article
Full-text available
Paper presented at the Tax Research Network Conference Bournemouth 16-17 September 2004 This paper updates and extends an earlier analysis (James, 1999) of factors influencing the shape of the international tax system but with particular reference to the taxation of investment. This was done using the strategic management technique of STEP analysis...
Article
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American university students owned more than twice as many credit cards as British university students. However, scores on a credit card attitude scale predicted the number of cards owned by respondents in both countries.
Article
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A 6-item measure of computer anxiety was devised and showed good reliability and validity in both American and English samples so it could be useful in survey research when a brief measure of computer anxiety is needed.
Article
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In Public Policy and Administration Taylor (1999) concluded that the charter system was inadequate to safeguard consumers’ and citizens’ interests and that they would have to have a greater input to ensure success. Following its introduction in 1991, the Charter initiative certainly made an impact and by 1997 there were 40 main charters and perhaps...
Article
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Short scales to measure affective, cognitive and behavioural attitudes toward credit cards developed from a longer scale were administered to respondents in Great Britain and the United States and found to be highly reliable and valid.
Article
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The importance of behavioural economics in supplementing and extending the neoclassical analysis of taxpayer behaviour has been recognised for some time. This paper summarises contributions to date. It then provides significant further evidence relating to taxpayer behaviour by reporting the preliminary results of a substantial survey (N = 2,040) o...
Article
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British university students (n = 142) obtained a higher mean external locus of control score than did American university students (n = 185) overall and, in particular, on items related to politicians and government.
Article
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A brief 6-item scale to measure anxiety about computers, developed using American students, showed good internal consistency, reliability and construct validity for British students (77 men, 65 women).
Article
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The Australian Taxpayers'€™ Charter was introduced in 1997 and a revised version in November 2003. This is therefore an appropriate time to review the contribution of this initiative. This article traces the development of such modern charters and then specifically the development of tax charters. The Australian Taxpayers' Charter and the Australia...
Article
Full-text available
The topic of multi-level taxation is currently highly relevant to two issues – European tax harmonisation and local government taxation in the UK. This paper presents a general economic analysis of multi-level government and taxation and the characteristics that might make a particular tax appropriate as a regional or local tax. In applying this an...
Chapter
This chapter examines trends that are likely to influence the shape of the future international tax system. The basic strategic management technique of STEP analysis is used to examine relevant changes to Social, Technological, Economic and Political factors affecting taxation. Important future influences include the increasing complexity of socio-...
Article
This study set out to test the relative merits and desirability of teaching tax principles and policy based either on a single textbook, or by using the more traditional UK social science method of wider reading and a more individualistic approach to learning. The method employed was to teach taxation using the two approaches on two parallel public...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews the experience of the UK with VAT over nearly three decades. There are several aspects that might be relevant to the way GST develops in Australia. One is that Australia might expect opposition to the new tax to diminish substantially as it becomes part of the fiscal furniture. Another is that GST might prove to have fewer disa...
Article
The shape of the international tax system is being influenced by a number of important factors. This paper uses the basic management technique of STEP analysis to explore the changes that are under way and presents some of the social, technological, economic and political factors involved. It soon becomes clear that important trends include the inc...
Article
Revision of proposals first made in an article published in New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy, vol. 5, no. 1, April 1999, p.3-14
Article
Full-text available
Tax harmonisation between countries has been frequently advocated but progress has tended to be slow and uncertain. This article suggest that the degree of harmonisation sought has often been vague and that more progress might be made if it were generally agreed how far the progress should go. The paper examines the case for tax harmonisation and i...
Article
In both Australia and the UK, programmes are under way to simplify tax legislation by rewriting it. This paper demonstrates that tax simplification is a complicated concept and concludes that sustainable improvement is unlikely to be achieved if reform is limited only to linguistic changes. Tax law is complicated because there are powerful pressure...
Article
A perennial problem in fraud detection is the need to identify potential fraudsters. One recent area of interest has been the use of computers to combat fraud and identify potential fraudsters, for example Leinicke et al. and Daniele both described the application of ‘computer fraud auditing’ to a number of situations and highlighted examples where...
Article
Part 1 Identities: making something of oneself selves in interaction - heretics, fundamentalists and improvisers double jeopardy and the moral regulation of the self. Part 2 Decisions: Co-ordination, co-operation and bargaining rationality and partnership investments, power and autonomy. Part 3 Citizenship: a property-owning democracy? social polic...
Article
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This article examines criteria for assessing the respective merits of different systems of tax rulings. Both the Australian and UK arrangements fit what might be described as a "Revenue Service Model of Tax Rulings". The analysis presented suggests that a system of rulings should at least be partly "consumer driven" and that tax rulings should be i...
Article
The importance of gender and family considerations in labour market participation has long been overlooked by many economists. An increasing amount of work has been undertaken by economists but the issue is more complicated than many studies to date would suggest. Two qualitative surveys have been undertaken in Exeter, England, into labour market d...
Article
A well established result in empirical economics is that male labour market participation does not respond much to changes in taxation but female participation does. This paper reviews a range of contributions relating to such decisions in the light of two further empirical studies on labour market decisions — one in low income households and the o...
Article
Data from the authors' qualitative study of decision-making in low income households casts new light on council house sales in a least-favoured housing estate. Under pressure from rising rents and rumours of privatisation, poor tenants are deciding to buy their houses as a way of securing their future in the area and controlling their personal envi...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore the difficulties elderly taxpayers experience when complying with the tax system operated in the United Kingdom. Some of these problems arise from particular characteristics of the UK system, which are difficult for taxpayers to understand. Results from the survey reported here point to disproportionately hig...
Article
The economic principles regarding taxation in a federal context are re-examined in the context of European tax harmonisation. It is suggested that the concept of subsidiarity could be more helpful in progress towards successful harmonisation if it were developed to take more account of these principles.
Article
Tax simplification is a frequently stated aim of tax reform. However, while there have been many attempts at simplification, very little lasting success has been achieved. This is true not only in the UK but also in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA. In analysing the experience of these countries, three main factors emerge. The f...
Article
Full-text available
The definition of “residence” for individuals differs between Australia and New Zealand. This article examines the global context in which individuals now operate and puts forward a “number of days” test as the most appropriate to protect the revenue and attract foreign investment. This may be reinforced by using the “centre of vital interests” def...
Article
Paper presented at the International Conference on Tax Administration, ATAX, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney, April 2006. A revised version appears in Further Global Challenges in Tax Administration; ed. by Margaret McKerchar, Michael Walpole. Birmingham : Fiscal Publications, 2006. ISBN 9780954504861 One way of improving the...
Article
Full-text available
The authors are very grateful to the Australian Tax Office for helpful discussions and information regarding the Australian Taxpayers’ Charter and for helpful comments from those attending the 2005 Tax Research Network Conference, University of Edinburgh on the 8-9th September Reform of tax administration has not always been an unmitigated success....
Article
Simplicity is an important attribute for a tax system and there have been many attempts at simplification in different countries including, of course, Australia. However these attempts have not been very successful. The main reason is that there are, of course, important factors that cause tax systems to be complex and not all of them are bad. Anot...
Article
Earlier draft presented at the Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics, New York University, 15-18 May 2007. This paper presents evidence that too narrow an approach in research can produce misleading conclusions when the wider context of the tax system and the environment in which it has to operate are considered. Tw...
Article
Full-text available
Paper present at the IAREP-SABE Joint Meeting Paris on the 5-8 July 2006. The attitudes and perceptions of tax officials can have important effects on the efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration but is often relatively neglected in the development of performance indicators. This paper therefore examines these issues. It also reports the...
Article
A revised version of 07/15 appeared as 'Developing Tax Policy in a Complex and Changing World' Economic Analysis and Policy, 38(1) Economic and Social Research Council funding is gratefully acknowledged (Award number RES-000-23-1595 ‘Optimum Tax Compliance Costs and Tax Simplification’).
Article
A revised version of this paper appeared as The Relationship Between Accounting Principles and Taxation: A UK Perspective’, Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2002, Vol. 6(3) Autumn, 84-97 Although accounting principles and practice normally form the basis for tax assessment, there are reasons why there should be variations between the figures used...
Article
Full-text available
Twenty-two years ago (in 1985) the New Zealand (NZ) Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act was enacted. The Value Added Tax (VAT) in the United Kingdom (UK) has now been operational for over thirty-four years. VAT and GST are now an accepted part of taxation policy. Such controversy as remains is concerned with specific issues rather than the existence of...
Article
Full-text available
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the more recent International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) form the basis of the accounting transactions and reports used in taxation accounting. However this has always been an uneasy relationship. One apparent factor contributing to this is that these two accounting processes serve diffe...
Article
Full-text available
Tax reform provides many examples of failures - where reforms did not achieve their objectives successfully and sometimes even had to be reversed. However, value added tax (VAT) in the UK and goods and services tax (GST) in New Zealand have survived successfully for many years. This paper describes the nature and brief history of VAT and GST and th...

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Projects (2)
Project
To raise an issue of public policy.
Project
I am contributing the UK experience to this comparative approach