Date of Completion

Spring 4-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

John Phillips

Honors Major





This study will examine the complexities of corporate tax planning, with a focus on tax deferral strategies employed by United States multinational corporations, providing a financial and ethical analysis of corporate tax entities. The focus will be on multinational corporations, primarily Fortune 500 Companies. It will then evaluate trends across industries and contrast the patterns of unrecognized tax benefits reported by large and small scale public companies. Additionally, the paper will analyze the effective tax rate paid by a sample of corporations of varying size and industry, and how these characteristics of the business correlate with this rate. The study will include a foundational background on corporate tax havens, the benefits of deferred taxation, and an outsider’s perspective on the subject matter – namely, the difference in perception of the general public versus that of a shareholder. Furthermore, this paper will reference case studies of large multinational corporations that have received publicity for their tax avoidance strategies. While the acceptability corporate tax havens is an area of controversy, and many argue that corporations have an obligation as global citizens to pay taxes, this paper will present that in order to remain competitive as a large, multinational public company, an aggressive tax deferral strategy can be not only instrumental, but essential to success.

Included in

Accounting Commons