We examine whether the inclusion of general counsel in top management is associated with a firm’s tax avoidance. We find that firms with general counsel as part of the top management team have lower GAAP effective tax rate, more uncertain tax positions, a higher likelihood of engaging in tax shelter activities, and more tax haven countries in which the firm reports a significant subsidiary, relative to firms without a general counsel in top management. In addition, we find that among firms with general counsel in top management, tax avoidance is greater when (1) the general counsel has tax-related expertise, (2) the firm hires an external auditor with tax expertise or purchases more tax services from its external auditor, and (3) the CEO has more power over the general counsel.
Top management composition, general counsel, tax avoidance
Accounting | Corporate Finance | Taxation
Corporate Reporting and Disclosure
American Accounting Association Annual Meeting 2014, August, Houston TX; European Financial Management Association Conference 2014, June 25-28, Rome; World Finance Conference 2014, December 12-13, Singapore
City or Country
GOH, Beng Wee; LEE, Jimmy; and NG, Jeffrey.
The Inclusion of General Counsel in Top Management and Tax Avoidance. (2014). American Accounting Association Annual Meeting 2014, August, Houston TX; European Financial Management Association Conference 2014, June 25-28, Rome; World Finance Conference 2014, December 12-13, Singapore. 1-63. Research Collection School Of Accountancy.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soa_research/1338
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