Financial Constraints and Cash Tax Savings
Posted: 19 Oct 2012 Last revised: 15 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 9, 2015
We investigate the association between financial constraints and cash savings generated through tax planning. We predict that an increase in financial constraints leads firms to increase internally-generated funds via tax planning. We measure financial constraints based on changes in firm-specific and macroeconomic measures. We find that firms facing increases in financial constraints exhibit increases in cash tax planning. Our results indicate that among profitable firms, firm-years with the largest increases in firm-specific constraints are associated with declines in firms’ cash effective tax rates ranging from 3.00 to 5.14 percent which equate to between 2.87 and 4.82 percent of operating cash flows. We also find that (1) the impact of financial constraints on tax planning is greatest among firms with low cash reserves and (2) constrained firms achieve a substantial portion of their current tax savings via deferral-based tax planning strategies, despite the lack of a financial statement benefit.
Keywords: Tax avoidance, Cash taxes, Financial constraints
JEL Classification: E69, H25, H60
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation