Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Associated with Tax Avoidance? Evidence from Irresponsible CSR Activities
52 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2013 Last revised: 27 Aug 2015
Date Written: June 17, 2013
We examine the empirical association between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and tax avoidance. Our findings suggest that firms with excessive irresponsible CSR activities have a higher likelihood of engaging in tax sheltering activities and greater discretionary/permanent book-tax differences. Moreover, at the onset of FASB Interpretation No. 48, these firms have more uncertain tax positions; also, these firms’ initial tax positions are likely supported by weaker facts and circumstances as indicated by their larger post-FIN 48 settlements with tax authorities and their higher likelihood of a net decrease in the overall level of uncertain tax positions after FIN 48. Collectively, these results suggest that firms with excessive irresponsible CSR activities are more aggressive in avoiding taxes, lending credence to the idea that corporate culture affects tax avoidance.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Tax Avoidance, Tax Aggressiveness, Corporate Culture, FIN48
JEL Classification: H20, M14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation