Estimates of the Magnitude of Financial and Tax Reporting Conflicts

57 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2007

See all articles by George A. Plesko

George A. Plesko

University of Connecticut School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2007


This study examines the tax reporting consequences of financial reporting discretion. Using a matched sample of financial statements with tax returns, I provide estimates of the accuracy of tax return information inferred from financial statements. To examine the tradeoffs between financial and tax reporting, I model the relation discretionary financial accounting accruals have to discretionary federal tax accruals. The methodology takes advantage of the contemporaneous nature of reporting to mitigate econometric problems identified in previous research. I find the extent tax reporting reflects discretionary financial reporting varies dramatically by industry, profitability, and the sign of discretionary accruals. I also find managers are able to undertake tax reducing activities with less of an effect on financial reporting than tax increasing accruals, consistent with recent evidence on the differential growth of book and tax income, and with tax avoidance activities.

Keywords: book-tax differences, accounting for income taxes, earnings management, accounting choice

JEL Classification: M41, M43, H25, C50

Suggested Citation

Plesko, George A., Estimates of the Magnitude of Financial and Tax Reporting Conflicts (May 2007). Available at SSRN: or

George A. Plesko (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Business ( email )

School of Business
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States
860-486-6421 (Phone)

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