Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) associated with tax avoidance? Evidence from irresponsible CSR activities

Chun Keung Hoi, Qiang Wu, Hao Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

268 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2025-2059
Number of pages35
JournalAccounting Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Corporate culture
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • FIN 48
  • Tax aggressiveness
  • Tax avoidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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