China; Corporate social responsibility; Corporate tax avoidance
The primary objective of this paper is to empirically examine whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences corporate tax avoidance (CTA) of Chinese listed companies. The study is based on a sample of 3481 firm-year observations from 2009 to 2015 using CSR ratings from the Rankins (RKS) corporate social responsibility ratings agency in China, and all financial data extracted from the China Stock Market and Accounting Research (CSMAR). The authors foundthat CSR is negatively related to the current and cash effective tax rate (proxies of corporate tax avoidance), suggesting that responsible firms are more involved in tax avoidance as compared to less responsible firms. Their findings are robust against different control variables. Additionally, to the best of the authors' knowledge, the paper is one of the first to document an empirical association between CSR and corporate tax avoidance of Chinese listed companies.