Quest for Tax Education in Non-Accounting Curriculum: A Malaysian Study

  •  Ming Ling Lai    
  •  Yaacob Zalilawati    
  •  Mahat Mohd Amran    
  •  Kwai Fatt Choong    


This study aims (i) to ascertain the demand for tax education among Malaysian undergraduates from non-accounting disciplines; (ii) to examine the level of tax knowledge among non-accounting undergraduates; (iii) to identify the instructional methods to be used; and (iv) to determine the relevant tax topics to be covered in tax course for the non-accounting curriculum. A questionnaire was given to undergraduates from non-accounting disciplines in three public universities in Malaysia from the month of February to April 2011. Out of the 1,575 questionnaires distributed, 995 usable responses were received and analyzed. This survey found (i) majority of the respondents were in favor of tax education being introduced into non-accounting curriculum as an elective paper; (ii) about 44.9% had little tax knowledge; (iii) the most preferred methods of teaching taxation are case studies and face-to-face classroom learning; and (iv) the topics that the respondents would like to learn the most are personal taxation, tax planning for individual and basic concepts of taxation. The findings provided important insight in order to reform the current education policy, to introduce tax education formally in non-accounting curriculum, as tax education is the pillar that builds a tax literate society. This study could be seen as the first large-scale study conducted after the implementation of self-assessment tax system in Malaysia. Study on tax education from developing country like Malaysia is rare; hence, this study would fill a knowledge gap.

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