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21-06-2020 | Issue 4/2020

Review of Accounting Studies 4/2020

Tax-savvy executives

Journal:
Review of Accounting Studies > Issue 4/2020
Authors:
Thomas R. Kubick, Yijun Li, John R. Robinson
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Abstract

We investigate why firms include individuals with significant professional tax experience on their senior management team and the consequences associated with the presence of these tax-savvy executives. We find that past performance, network connections, geographic location, and tax-rate level, relative to industry peers, are all significant determinants of having a tax-savvy executive on the senior management team. Using propensity-score matching, we find that effective tax rates decrease substantially after the addition of a tax-savvy executive to senior management and revert following the departure of such an executive. We connect the changes in effective tax rates to changes in the usage of foreign subsidiaries in low tax jurisdictions.

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