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Ownership structure and tax aggressiveness of Chinese listed companies

Tingting Ying (Ningbo University of Technology, Ningbo, China)
Brian Wright (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China)
Wei Huang (University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo, China)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of state shareholding and control versus institutional investors on tax aggressiveness of Chinese listed firms.

Design/methodology/approach

By exploring recently available tax reconciliation data required under 2006 Accounting Standards for Business Enterprises on a sample of Chinese A-share listed firms, the authors calculate a direct measure of tax aggressiveness and investigate the influence of firm ownership structure on their tax aggressiveness.

Findings

The authors find that state ownership and control are positively associated with corporate tax aggressiveness. A positive link between the collective shareholding by the top ten shareholders and firm tax aggressiveness is also found. In contrast, institutional share ownership is negatively associated with corporate tax aggressiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that political connections and ownership concentration empower firms to pursue aggressive tax planning, whereas institutional investors partially mitigate such influences.

Originality/value

This paper complements recent studies on tax aggressiveness in the USA by analyzing tax planning activities of Chinese listed firms. The authors highlight firm ownership and control factors that encourage aggressive tax planning in China. This paper has important implications for both public policy and corporate governance in emerging markets similar to China.

Keywords

Citation

Ying, T., Wright, B. and Huang, W. (2017), "Ownership structure and tax aggressiveness of Chinese listed companies", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 313-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJAIM-07-2016-0070

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited