For logistical reasons only? A case study of tax planning and corporate social responsibility reporting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The relationship between corporate taxation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a much discussed topic in recent times. We offer insights into this debate by presenting a qualitative case study of the tax planning arrangements of one multinational company that uses transfer pricing to achieve significant tax savings. We contrast this arrangement with an analysis of how the company discussed taxation in its disclosures over a 10-year period, and set its arrangements against the CSR claims made by the company during this time. Despite its claimed commitment to accurate and transparent communication, the company has made only limited disclosures on taxation, and issues such as tax planning, tax risks and tax compliance have been omitted completely. By juxtaposing the legal tax planning arrangements of the company being studied with its lack of tax disclosures and apparent neglect of its own CSR commitments, we highlight how corporate taxation needs to be considered to be a CSR issue. Moreover, given that the disclosures of powerful social actors affect how issues such as corporate tax avoidance and responsible taxation are understood and subsequently acted upon in society, we consider it essential to analyse in detail what corporations actually say in their disclosures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Volume33
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages19
ISSN1045-2354
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 511 Economics
  • 512 Business and Management

Cite this

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abstract = "The relationship between corporate taxation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a much discussed topic in recent times. We offer insights into this debate by presenting a qualitative case study of the tax planning arrangements of one multinational company that uses transfer pricing to achieve significant tax savings. We contrast this arrangement with an analysis of how the company discussed taxation in its disclosures over a 10-year period, and set its arrangements against the CSR claims made by the company during this time. Despite its claimed commitment to accurate and transparent communication, the company has made only limited disclosures on taxation, and issues such as tax planning, tax risks and tax compliance have been omitted completely. By juxtaposing the legal tax planning arrangements of the company being studied with its lack of tax disclosures and apparent neglect of its own CSR commitments, we highlight how corporate taxation needs to be considered to be a CSR issue. Moreover, given that the disclosures of powerful social actors affect how issues such as corporate tax avoidance and responsible taxation are understood and subsequently acted upon in society, we consider it essential to analyse in detail what corporations actually say in their disclosures.",
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For logistical reasons only? A case study of tax planning and corporate social responsibility reporting. / Ylönen, Matti Ville Samuli; Laine, Matias.

In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 33, 12.2015, p. 5-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - The relationship between corporate taxation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a much discussed topic in recent times. We offer insights into this debate by presenting a qualitative case study of the tax planning arrangements of one multinational company that uses transfer pricing to achieve significant tax savings. We contrast this arrangement with an analysis of how the company discussed taxation in its disclosures over a 10-year period, and set its arrangements against the CSR claims made by the company during this time. Despite its claimed commitment to accurate and transparent communication, the company has made only limited disclosures on taxation, and issues such as tax planning, tax risks and tax compliance have been omitted completely. By juxtaposing the legal tax planning arrangements of the company being studied with its lack of tax disclosures and apparent neglect of its own CSR commitments, we highlight how corporate taxation needs to be considered to be a CSR issue. Moreover, given that the disclosures of powerful social actors affect how issues such as corporate tax avoidance and responsible taxation are understood and subsequently acted upon in society, we consider it essential to analyse in detail what corporations actually say in their disclosures.

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