- belief revision; order effects; tax practitioners; client advocacy; Accounting/Taxation
This study investigates the ordering of information (pro-client or pro-IRS) and its effect on the tax professional's belief of whether to disclose the tax position taken on behalf of the client to the IRS. Tax professionals were assigned to one of two groups. Each group was given the same initial scenario which took a neutral position. Then, Group 1 first received information that is classified as pro-client while Group 2 first received information that is classified as pro-IRS. The information order was then reversed with Group 1 receiving the pro-IRS information and Group 2 receiving the pro-client information. The results indicate that there is an information ordering effect for both groups. The tax professionals' decision to disclose or not disclose to the IRS significantly changed as each piece of information was given to them. The mean score for both groups converged after being given the first piece of information contrary to the information previously received.