Perceptions About Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance in Thailand
: An Institutional Theory Perspective

  • Vorakanlaya Natpraypant

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


To fund State-based investment in public services, governments have to confront issues of tax evasion and tax avoidance which erode a country’s tax base and therefore Government revenue. Moreover, they have to deal with wealthy individuals and companies that develop aggressive tax planning schemes in order to reduce their tax liabilities. This research seeks to add to the sparse literature on tax evasion and tax avoidance: (i) by looking at this problem within a Thai context; (ii) by investigating current perceptions about the extent of tax avoidance/evasion from relevant stakeholders; (iii) by identifying institutional factors that influence a taxpayer’s propensity to engage in tax evasion and tax avoidance; and (iv) by studying the motives behind the introduction of a new tax evasion legislation (the Revenue Code Amendment Act (No.45), B.E.2560 (A.D.2017)) in Thailand. This research employs a combination of institutional theory and concepts of legitimacy as the theoretical lenses to guide the study. A qualitative approach including both interviews and internet-based news articles is employed when conducting this study. Reflecting on 35 interviews with a range of stakeholders and discussions about the legislation in on-line news articles as it progressed through Parliament, the findings indicate that a number of issues are thought to contribute to the level of tax evasion and tax avoidance in Thailand: (i) the taxpayer’s sense of morality and feeling of responsibility to society, (ii) social norms, and (iii) views on public sector efficiency. Additionally, the results suggest that external and internal institutional pressures acted as catalysts for the introduction of the new tax evasion legislation in Thailand. These findings should provide useful empirical evidence and analysis for policymakers in Thailand and other similar developing countries; specifically, it should aid with the design and development of tax policies which promote tax compliance. Moreover, this study is the first to empirically investigate the motives behind the introduction of tax evasion legislation in Thailand. In addition, the study also extends the application of institutional theory to empirically examine tax evasion and tax avoidance in Thailand. These are contributions of the current thesis to international investigations of tax avoidance and tax evasion.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsRoyal Thai Government
SupervisorGwen Hannah (Supervisor) & David Power (Supervisor)


  • Tax evasion
  • Tax avoidance
  • Tax evasion legislation
  • Institutional theory
  • Legitimacy
  • Thailand

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