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Tax avoidance and geographic earnings disclosure

Author

Listed:
  • Hope, Ole-Kristian
  • Ma, Mark (Shuai)
  • Thomas, Wayne B.

Abstract

This study tests the relation between corporate tax avoidance and disclosure of geographic earnings for U.S. multinational companies. We find that after the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 131 in 1998, firms opting to discontinue disclosure of geographic earnings in their financial reports have lower worldwide effective tax rates. These results are consistent with managers perceiving that non-disclosure of geographic earnings helps mask tax avoidance behavior. However, the relation between tax avoidance and non-disclosure reduces after implementation of Schedule M-3 in the annual corporate tax filing beginning in 2004. Schedule M-3 requires a detailed reconciliation of book income to tax income and aims to make firms' tax avoidance activities associated with shifting profits to lower-tax foreign jurisdictions more apparent to the IRS. This study contributes to our understanding of the relation between financial reporting behavior and tax reporting behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Hope, Ole-Kristian & Ma, Mark (Shuai) & Thomas, Wayne B., 2013. "Tax avoidance and geographic earnings disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 170-189.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:56:y:2013:i:2:p:170-189
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2013.06.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax avoidance; Geographic earnings disclosure; SFAS 131; Schedule M-3;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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