Estimates of the Magnitude of Financial and Tax Reporting Conflicts

58 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2007 Last revised: 1 May 2022

See all articles by George A. Plesko

George A. Plesko

University of Connecticut School of Business

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Date Written: August 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.

Suggested Citation

Plesko, George A., Estimates of the Magnitude of Financial and Tax Reporting Conflicts (August 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13295, Available at SSRN:

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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