Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 463–498 | Cite as

The Impact of Corporate Tax Avoidance on Board of Directors and CEO Reputation

  • Roman LanisEmail author
  • Grant Richardson
  • Chelsea Liu
  • Ross McClure
Original Paper


This study examines the impact of corporate tax avoidance on board of directors and chief executive officer (CEO) reputation. Our regression results show that when firms engage in tax avoidance, both directors and CEOs, on average, are rewarded by improvements in their reputations as proxied by an increased number of outside board seats. In particular, both independent directors and non-CEO executive directors undergo positive changes in reputation. We also find that CEOs of tax-aggressive firms experience enhanced reputations by gaining extra board seats. Our main regression results hold based on additional analyses. Overall, this study provides important empirical evidence confirming an association between tax avoidance and the individual reputations of directors and CEOs.


Tax avoidance Corporate reputation Board of directors Chief executive officer (CEO) 

JEL Classification

H25 H26 M14 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This paper does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roman Lanis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Grant Richardson
    • 2
  • Chelsea Liu
    • 2
  • Ross McClure
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Accounting, UTS Business SchoolUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Accounting and Finance, The Business SchoolThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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