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Tax avoidance and accounting conservatism

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  • Bornemann, Tobias

Abstract

This study analyzes the relation between accounting conservatism, future tax rate cuts and countries' level of book-tax conformity. Firms have an incentive to increase conservatism in financial reporting when a tax rate cut is imminent to shift taxable income into the lower taxed future. Using a panel of firms across 18 countries from 1995 to 2010 I find that conditional conservatism is positively and significantly associated with future tax rate cuts when book-tax conformity is high. This effect is particularly pronounced for firms that concentrate the majority of their operations in the country in which the tax rate is cut. In contrast, there is no significant relation between future tax rate cuts and unconditional conservatism.

Suggested Citation

  • Bornemann, Tobias, 2018. "Tax avoidance and accounting conservatism," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 232, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:232
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/190981/1/1045711179.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dominika Langenmayr & Rebecca Lester, 2013. "Taxation and corporate risk-taking," Working Papers 1316, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    2. Roychowdhury, Sugata & Watts, Ross L., 2007. "Asymmetric timeliness of earnings, market-to-book and conservatism in financial reporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 2-31, September.
    3. Ahmed, Anwer S. & Duellman, Scott, 2007. "Accounting conservatism and board of director characteristics: An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 411-437, July.
    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. repec:bla:joares:v:31:y:1993:i::p:183-223 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kravet, Todd D., 2014. "Accounting conservatism and managerial risk-taking: Corporate acquisitions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 218-240.
    7. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "International profit shifting within multinationals: A multi-country perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1164-1182, June.
    8. Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2000. "The changing time-series properties of earnings, cash flows and accruals: Has financial reporting become more conservative?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 287-320, June.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:7:p:1914-:d:218503 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    accounting conservatism; tax rate cuts; book-tax conformity;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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