The Effect of High Quality Information Technology on Corporate Tax Avoidance and Tax Risk
Posted: 26 Jul 2015 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018
Date Written: May 2, 2016
We examine the effect of high quality information technology (IT) on corporate tax outcomes. Using a measure of IT quality constructed from rankings in InformationWeek magazine, we find that firms with high quality IT are able to achieve both lower and less volatile cash effective tax rates than are other firms. These results suggest that firms with high quality IT are able to avoid more taxes while simultaneously incurring less tax risk compared to firms with lesser IT systems. We also perform mediation analyses to investigate the channels through which high quality IT enables effective tax planning. Results of these tests suggest that the most important driver of our findings is timely, reliable information facilitated by high quality IT. Our study contributes to both the IT and tax literatures by identifying and quantifying the returns to investments in IT in terms of more favorable corporate tax outcomes.
Keywords: Information Technology; Business Value of IT; Tax Avoidance; Tax Risk
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