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Tax Avoidance and Inequality: A Bourdieusian approach to the field of Professional Tax Experts

European Union
Decision Making
Public Opinion
Martin Joseph Laheen
University of Limerick
Ruth Lynch
University of Limerick
Sheila Killian
University of Limerick
Martin Joseph Laheen
University of Limerick
Ruth Lynch
University of Limerick
Philip O'Regan
University of Limerick

Abstract

This Paper explores the influences on the work of professional tax experts in a range of European countries in the context of a concern about the role of tax avoidance in triggering and perpetuating inequality. This allows us to explore the relationship between the professional tax expert and the state, media and their own professional bodies as well as the role of such variables as gender and management style within tax practice. The study is informed by ideas from the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and Ulrich Beck. We present preliminary results from a survey of tax actors, framed by concepts of the tax field, and of the global risk generated by tax avoidance. The social implications are significant both within the EU and for developing countries. The paper is novel in addressing professional expertise in a context where the public interest is easily mapped, and in drawing on intrinsic and extrinsic influences on expert decisions.