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The determinants of tax-haven use: evidence from Canada

Yosra Fourati Makni, Anis Maaloul and Rabeb Dabbebi

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 2019, vol. 21, issue 1, 142-162

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the determinants of tax-haven use of publicly listed Canadian firms. Design/methodology/approach - Based on alternative measures of tax havens (TH) and referring to a sample of 235 Canadian firms over the period of 2014–2015, probit-regression analyses are used to examine the determinants of tax-haven use. Findings - The authors provide evidence that multinationality, intangible assets, thin capitalization, withholding taxes, equity-based management remuneration and tax fees paid to auditing firms are positively associated with TH use. Furthermore, the authors show that the variable relating to R&D intensity is positively associated with TH use. The authors also document that strong corporate-governance structures are negatively associated with TH use. Research limitations/implications - This study is only limited to Canadian firms, so the results may not be generalizable to other countries. Practical implications - The results may assist tax watchdogs in their efforts to understand the tax behavior held by Canadian firms. They may also be interesting for tax authorities in planning enforcement activities. Originality/value - This study uses a sample from publicly listed financial and non-financial firms. It also uses various lists of TH published by various competent sources (IMF, 2000, 2007; TJN, 2005; OECD, 2012). The findings corroborate the recent media attention about the extensive use of TH by Canadian firms.

Keywords: Canada; Intangible assets; Multinationality; Tax havens; Thin capitalization; Withholding taxes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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