IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The rise of deferred tax assets in Japan: The role of deferred tax accounting in the Japanese banking crisis


  • Skinner, Douglas J.


This paper provides evidence on the role of deferred taxes in the recent financial crisis among Japanese banks. Upon adoption of deferred tax accounting in FY1998, the major Japanese banks recognized net deferred tax assets of ¥6.6 trillion ($55 billion). Without these assets, the banks would have been insolvent. The evidence supports the conclusion that Japanese regulators used deferred tax accounting as part of a regulatory forbearance strategy, and that bank managers used these assets to bolster their banks' regulatory capital. The results show how ostensibly similar accounting rules can be implemented very differently, and so have implications for IFRS.

Suggested Citation

  • Skinner, Douglas J., 2008. "The rise of deferred tax assets in Japan: The role of deferred tax accounting in the Japanese banking crisis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2-3), pages 218-239, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:46:y:2008:i:2-3:p:218-239

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 2005. "Unnatural Selection: Perverse Incentives and the Misallocation of Credit in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1144-1166, September.
    2. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric S., 2001. "Determinants of the Japan premium: actions speak louder than words," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 283-305, April.
    3. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap, 2000. "The Japanese Banking Crisis: Where Did It Come From and How Will It End?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 129-212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Blacconiere, Walter G. & Bowen, Robert M. & Sefcik, Stephan E. & Stinson, Christopher H., 1991. "Determinants of the use of regulatory accounting principles by Savings and Loans," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 167-201, June.
    5. Bank of Japan, 1999. "Profits and Balance-Sheet Developments of Japanese Banks in Fiscal 1998," Bank of Japan Research Papers 1999-11-30, Bank of Japan.
    6. Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2004. "Japan's Financial Crisis and Economic Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
    7. Shrieves, Ronald E. & Dahl, Drew, 2003. "Discretionary accounting and the behavior of Japanese banks under financial duress," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1219-1243, July.
    8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2008. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1943-1977, December.
    9. Benston, George J. & Bromwich, Michael & Litan, Robert E. & Wagenhofer, Alfred, 2006. "Worldwide Financial Reporting: The Development and Future of Accounting Standards," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195305838.
    10. Maria A. Gee & Tomoko Mano, 2006. "Accounting for deferred tax in Japanese Banks and the consequences for their international operations," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 42(1), pages 1-21, March.
    11. Scholes, Myron S & Wilson, G Peter & Wolfson, Mark A, 1990. "Tax Planning, Regulatory Capital Planning, and Financial Reporting Strategy for Commercial Banks," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(4), pages 625-650.
    12. Blacconiere, Walter G., 1991. "Market reactions to accounting regulations in the savings and loan industry," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 91-113, March.
    13. Montgomery, Heather, 2005. "The effect of the Basel Accord on bank portfolios in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 24-36, March.
    14. Hoshi, Takeo, 2001. "What Happened to Japanese Banks?," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(1), pages 1-29, February.
    15. Collins, Jh & Shackelford, Da & Wahlen, Jm, 1995. "Bank Differences In The Coordination Of Regulatory Capital, Earnings, And Taxes," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 263-291.
    16. Moyer, Susan E., 1990. "Capital adequacy ratio regulations and accounting choices in commercial banks," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 123-154, July.
    17. Hiroshi Nakaso, 1999. "Recent banking sector reforms in Japan," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Jul), pages 1-7.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Samara, Angeliki D., 2014. "Assessing the relevance of deferred tax items: Evidence from loss firms during the financial crisis," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 138-145.
    2. Komori, Naoko, 2015. "Beneath the globalization paradox: Towards the sustainability of cultural diversity in accounting research," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 141-156.
    3. Gallemore, J., 2012. "Deferred Tax Assests and Bank Regulatory Capital," Other publications TiSEM c4ed0879-0d89-4594-a8f5-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
    5. Bierey, Martin & Schmidt, Martin, 2017. "Banks' Use of Accounting Discretion and Regulatory Intervention: The Case of European Banks' Impairments on Greek Government Bonds," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 122-141.
    6. Radojko LUKIC, 2017. "Deferred Taxes in Trade," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(5), pages 527-544, December.
    7. Viral V. Acharya & Stephen G. Ryan, 2016. "Banks’ Financial Reporting and Financial System Stability," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 277-340, May.
    8. Brandon Gipper & Brett J Lombardi & Douglas J Skinner, 2013. "The politics of accounting standard-setting: A review of empirical research," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 38(3), pages 523-551, December.
    9. Gao, Pingyang & Jiang, Xu, 2018. "Reporting choices in the shadow of bank runs," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 85-108.
    10. Chytis, Evangelos & Koumanakos, Evangelos & Siriopoulos, Costas, 2013. "Deferred Tax Positions under the prism of financial crisis and the effects of a corporate tax reform," EconStor Conference Papers 125775, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    11. Jannis Bischof & Ulf Brüggemann & Holger Daske, 2012. "Fair Value Reclassifications of Financial Assets during the Financial Crisis," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-010, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    12. J. Douglas Hanna & Zining Li & Wayne Shaw, 2019. "Banks’ deferred tax assets during the financial crisis," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 527-550, August.
    13. Gropp, Reint & Mosk, Thomas & Ongena, Steven & Simac, Ines & Wix, Carlo, 2020. "Supranational rules, national discretion: Increasing versus inflating regulatory bank capital?," SAFE Working Paper Series 296, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    14. Sakawa, Hideaki & Watanabel, Naoki, 2018. "Board structures and performance in the banking industry: Evidence from Japan," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 308-320.
    15. Jincheol Bae & Jaehong Lee & Eunsoo Kim, 2019. "Does Fixed Asset Revaluation Build Trust between Management and Investors?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(13), pages 1-22, July.
    16. Ormazabal, Gaizka, 2018. "The Role of Stakeholders in Corporate Governance: A View from Accounting Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 12775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Kothari, S.P. & Ramanna, Karthik & Skinner, Douglas J., 2010. "Implications for GAAP from an analysis of positive research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 246-286, December.
    18. Shapiro, Joel & Zeng, Jing, 2019. "Stress Testing and Bank Lending," CEPR Discussion Papers 13907, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Sang-Giun Yim, 2020. "The Influence of IFRS Adoption on Banks’ Cost of Equity: Evidence from European Banks," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-16, April.
    20. Jannis Bischof & Holger Daske & Christoph J. Sextroh, 2020. "Why Do Politicians Intervene in Accounting Regulation? The Role of Ideology and Special Interests," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 589-642, June.
    21. Yumi Inamura & Shin’ya Okuda, 2017. "Deferred taxes and cost of debt: evidence from Japan," Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting & Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3-4), pages 358-376, October.
    22. Bertomeu, Jeremy & Magee, Robert P., 2011. "From low-quality reporting to financial crises: Politics of disclosure regulation along the economic cycle," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-227.
    23. João Granja, 2013. "The Relation Between Bank Resolutions and Information Environment: Evidence from the Auctions for Failed Banks," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(5), pages 1031-1070, December.
    24. Anna M. Costello & João Granja & Joseph Weber, 2019. "Do Strict Regulators Increase the Transparency of Banks?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 603-637, June.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nakashima, Kiyotaka & Takahashi, Koji, 2018. "The real effects of bank-driven termination of relationships: Evidence from loan-level matched data," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 46-65.
    2. Iftekhar Hasan & Larry D. Wall, 2004. "Determinants of the Loan Loss Allowance: Some Cross‐Country Comparisons," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 129-152, February.
    3. Imai, Masami, 2019. "Regulatory responses to banking crisis: Lessons from Japan," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 10-16.
    4. Inoue, Hitoshi & Nakashima, Kiyotaka & Takahashi, Koji, 2018. "The Emergence of A Parallel World: The Misperception Problem for Bank Balance Sheet Risk and Lending Behavior," MPRA Paper 89088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Frederico A. Mourad & Rafael F. Schiozer & Toni R. E. dos Santos, 2020. "Bank Loan Forbearance: evidence from a million restructured loans," Working Papers Series 541, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    6. Nakashima, Kiyotaka, 2016. "An econometric evaluation of bank recapitalization programs with bank- and loan-level data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-24.
    7. Ristolainen, Kim, 2018. "Getting better? The effect of the single supervisory mechanism on banks' loan loss reporting and loan loss reserves," Research Discussion Papers 11/2018, Bank of Finland.
    8. Wako Watanabe, 2004. "Prudential Regulation, the Credit Crunch" and the Ineffectiveness of Monetary Policy: Evidence from Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0617, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    9. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2012. "Bank valuation and accounting discretion during a financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 614-634.
    10. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil K, 2010. "Will the U.S. bank recapitalization succeed? Eight lessons from Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 398-417, September.
    11. Watanabe, Wako, 2010. "Does a large loss of bank capital cause Evergreening? Evidence from Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 116-136, March.
    12. Wako Watanabe, 2004. "Does a Large Loss of Bank Capital Cause Ever-greening or Flight to Quality?: Evidence from Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0618, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    13. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu & S. Ghon Rhee, 2003. "Earnings Management During Distinct Periods of Capital Demand – Evidence from Japanese Banks," FHFA Staff Working Papers 03-06, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    14. Wako Watanabe, 2007. "Prudential Regulation and the “Credit Crunch”: Evidence from Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2‐3), pages 639-665, March.
    15. Peter Chen & Lane Daley, 1996. "Regulatory Capital, Tax, and Earnings Management Effects on Loan Loss Accruals in the Canadian Banking Industry," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 13(1), pages 91-128, March.
    16. Emrah Arbak, 2017. "Identifying the provisioning policies of Belgian banks," Working Paper Research 326, National Bank of Belgium.
    17. Shinichi Nishiyama & Tae Okada & Wako Watanabe, 2006. "Do Banks Reduce Lending Preemptively in Response to Capital Losses?," Discussion papers 06016, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    18. Mary E. Barth & Javier Gomez-Biscarri & Ron Kasznik & Germán López-Espinosa, 2017. "Bank earnings and regulatory capital management using available for sale securities," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 1761-1792, December.
    19. Barseghyan, Levon, 2010. "Non-performing loans, prospective bailouts, and Japan's slowdown," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 873-890, October.
    20. Dushyantkumar Vyas, 2011. "The Timeliness of Accounting Write‐Downs by U.S. Financial Institutions During the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 823-860, June.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:46:y:2008:i:2-3:p:218-239. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.