Can We Bring Folk Tales Plot Into Accounting Research?
Tax income is one of the most important income sources of a country. Mardiasmo (2009) states that one of the functions of tax income is a budgetary function which implies that a country needs income from tax to fund its expenditure. Accordingly, Gans et al. (2012) say that one of the ways to create future growth is to invest in capital nowadays. One source of funds to support is the savings resulting from the income (from tax) minus government expenditure for a country. Based on that reason, almost every country will try to boost their tax income to get higher funds.
The government can increase its tax income by changing the tax rate, increasing the number of taxpayers, and increasing the type of tax imposed on taxpayers. Although Feldstein (1995) argues that an increase in the tax rate would increase the deadweight loss effect from taxation, the economy that has no choice for other sources of income would try to increase their income from tax. As the taxpayers are the party that would be influenced by the action of the government to increase tax income, their view towards government would be affected by every government action.
Morell and Tuck (2014) map the relation of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HRMC) as the new governing board that has a task to look after the governance of taxation with the Multinational Companies (MNCs). Their mapping is based on the Propp (1928) framework on the Morphology of the Folk Tales, which describe that there are seven characters related to the function in the folk tales; (1) Villain, (2) Hero, (3) Helper, (4) Donor, (5) Princess and her father, (6) False Hero, (7) Dispatcher. They find that the relation between HRMC and MNC can be plotted on Propp’s framework. Furthermore, they also find that the relationship and character based on Propp’s framework between HRMC and MNC can change depending on the perspectives.
Since every action from the government on the tax would affect the taxpayer’s condition and vice versa, both of them will try to seek the best outcome. Therefore, their relation can be seen as a friend or enemy in the boundary of the tax system. They can try to maximize their economic well-being or, on the contrary, maximize their well-being. Rousseau et al. (2006) find that individual cognition and feelings would impact their behavior and impact the outcome. It implies that the government’s feelings toward taxpayers or taxpayers’ feelings toward the government can influence the development of their relationship. Importantly, it may affect the amount of tax paid by taxpayers to the government. So far, there is a lack of literature that tries to look at the impact of the tax embezzlement cases in the context of character plotting based on Propp’s framework. A study on that area would be very beneficial to the development of taxation in a country. Furthermore, using character plotting methodological research may reveal an insight from a different perspective of research. This kind of character plotting methodology is one of many story plots that can be embedded into accounting or taxation research. The future study may want to take a look at that methodological approach in examining any issue related to accounting and taxation.
- Feldstein, M. (1999). Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax. Review Of Economics & Statistics, 81(4), 674-680.
- Gans, J., King, S., Stonecash, R., & Mankiw, N., Gregory. (2012). Principles of Economics (5e ed.). South Melbourne, Victoria Australia 3205: Cengage Learning.
- Mardiasmo. (2009). Perpajakan. Edisi Revisi 2009, Yogyakarta, Penerbit Andi.
- Morrell, K., & Tuck, P. (2014). Governance, tax and folk tales. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 39(2), 134-147.
- Propp, V. (1928). Foreword. In E. Wagner (Ed.), Morphology of the Folktale by V. Propp 1968 (pp. xxv–xxvi). Austin: University of Texas Press.
- Rousseau, V., Aubé, C., & Savoie, A. (2006). Teamwork behaviors: A review and an integration of frameworks. Small Group Research, 37(5), 540-570.
Image Sources: https://www.pexels.com/