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COVID-19 and corporate tax avoidance: International evidence

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : Elsevier

Source : International Business Review

Url :

Campus : Bengaluru

School : School of Business

Year : 2023

Abstract : Governments across the globe initiated various tax reforms in the post- Global Financial Crisis period to rein in aggressive corporate tax avoidance for managing budget deficits. These developments created new realities in the international business environment by altering the costs and benefits of corporate tax management. Yet, we have a limited understanding of the effectiveness of tax reforms in controlling corporate tax avoidance at the global level. COVID-19 offers a litmus test for how corporates manage their taxes during the pandemic in light of past tax reforms. We use financial constraints and reputational costs as two contradicting theoretical perspectives to explain corporate tax avoidance during the crisis. Consistent with the financial constraints hypothesis, we find that firms avoid taxes amid COVID-19 to prevent liquidity crunches. Our study also highlights the role of country-level information and governance quality in curbing tax avoidance during extreme events like COVID-19. Our findings call for an immediate tax policy intervention to limit corporate tax avoidance during the ongoing pandemic phases.

Cite this Research Publication : Athira, A., & Ramesh, V. K. (2023). COVID-19 and corporate tax avoidance: International evidence. International Business Review, 32(4), 102143.

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