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Simultaneous debt–equity holdings and corporate tax avoidance

Tian (Lori) Tang, PhD Xu, L. Yan, X. Yang, H.
Journal of Corporate Finance. February 1, 2022

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Dual holders, financial institutions that simultaneously hold the debt and equity claims of the same firms, increase corporate tax avoidance. The positive effect is more pronounced in firms with greater ex-ante risk-taking managerial incentives and higher short-term investor ownership. We also find that tax avoidance is associated with a lower cost of debt in the presence of dual holders. We suggest that after-tax awards are a mechanism through which dual holders influence corporate tax strategies. The evidence demonstrates that dual holding increases tax avoidance through mitigating shareholder–creditor conflicts. Our results are robust to endogeneity concerns and alternative tax avoidance measures.