Does Tax Transparency Tackle Tax Avoidance?: A Stakeholder Perspective
International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics, 8 (1), pp. 46-59
15 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2019
Date Written: November 22, 2018
The present work approaches the research question: Does tax transparency through mandatory corporate tax return disclosure tackle tax avoidance? Tax avoidance has far-reaching social implications. The aim of this study is to shed light on tax avoidance and to help mitigate its adverse social repercussions. The research is inspired by The United Kingdom Corporate and Individual Tax and Financial Transparency Bill, which was proposed, albeit unsuccessfully, during the 2010-2015 UK Parliament. The implications of a tax return disclosure regime are assessed against the WPP Group, a major UK public company listed on FTSE 100. The stakeholders affected by corporate tax return disclosure are analysed using the Power-Interest-Matrix. Their power is assessed through financial indicators derived from the company’s financial statements. Their interest is scrutinized through vocabulary analysis with the Form-Oriented Content Analytic Method. The impact of the disclosed tax avoidance on the stakeholders and their response are mixed. There are numerous pathways available depending on the stakeholder group and their incentives. Also, stakeholders of the same group do not behave unanimously. These findings are supported by empirical evidence from Europe, Asia and the USA. In order to channel dispersed stakeholder activity the study makes a proposal to introduce a threshold for parties interested in corporate tax information. The author is not aware on any tax avoidance research combining the Power-Interest-Matrix and the Form-Oriented Content Analytic Method. This enhances the originality of the study and may encourage other scholars to enrich their research inventory through these instruments.
Keywords: Tax Avoidance, Tax Transparency, Stakeholder Analysis, Content Analysis, Power-Interest-Matrix
JEL Classification: K34, M40, M41, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation