NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Leslie Robinson

Dartmouth College
Tuck School of Business

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2018Public Tax-Return Disclosure
with Jeffrey L. Hoopes, Joel Slemrod: w24318
We investigate the consequences of public disclosure of information from company income tax returns filed in Australia. Supporters of more disclosure argue that increased transparency will improve tax compliance, while opponents argue that it will divulge sensitive information that is, in many cases, misunderstood. Our results show that in Australia large private companies experienced some consumer backlash and, perhaps partly in anticipation, some acted to avoid disclosure. We detect a small increase (decrease) in tax payments for private (public) firms subject to disclosure suggesting differential costs of disclosure across firms. Finally, we find that investors react negatively to anticipated and actual disclosure of tax information, most likely due to anticipated policy backlash rather...
 
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