Abstract/Details

Household employer payroll tax evasion: An exploration based on IRS data and on interviews with employers and domestic workers


2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Although many workers have a private household as their workplace, many household employers are unaware of or fail to meet their state and federal payroll tax obligations, thus undermining the workers’ retirement income security. This dissertation uses sixty interviews with household employers and employees in the Washington, DC, area to investigate the causes and conditions of nanny tax evasion. Ethnographic fieldwork and semi-structured interviews indicate that lack of awareness, tax complexity, social norms of noncompliance, and poor personal ethics diminish payroll tax payment; concern over one’s job, personal ethics and altruistic concern for the employee motivate compliance. An analysis of limited IRS data on audits as well as data on Schedule H household employment payroll tax returns reveal that although some unpaid tax was discovered, almost as much tax paid in error was refunded, confirming the importance of complexity as a determinant of compliance. Analysis of results using Kohlberg’s stages of moral development and force field analysis of motives provides insight into employers’ decisions to pay or evade their nanny taxes. Policy recommendations emphasize increasing public awareness, tax simplification, and enforcement.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Economics;
Political science;
Public policy
Classification
0501: Economics
0510: Economics
0615: Political science
0630: Public policy
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Domestic worker; Household employee; Nanny tax; Social security; Tax compliance; Tax evasion
Title
Household employer payroll tax evasion: An exploration based on IRS data and on interviews with employers and domestic workers
Author
Haskins, Catherine B.
Number of pages
254
Publication year
2010
Degree date
2010
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109698749
Advisor
Folbre, Nancy
Committee member
Saunders, Lisa; Woodard, Melissa
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
Economics
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3397704
ProQuest document ID
250913259
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/250913259/previewPDF
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