Corporate governance attributes and tax sheltering: Empirical evidence from listed non-financial firms in Nigeria

AFRAG050

Corporate governance attributes and tax sheltering: Empirical evidence from listed

non-financial firms in Nigeria

Udeme Enobong Eshiet Doctoral Student, Department of

Accounting, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria, udemeeshiet@aksu.edu.ng

Dr. (Mrs.) Josephine A. Nmesirionye Department of Accounting, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria.

Dr. Stella O. Okezie Department of Accounting, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture,

Umudike, Nigeria

Dr. Ekwe Michael Chidiebele Department of Accounting, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the effect of corporate governance attributes on tax sheltering of sampled non-financial listed firms in Nigeria for the period 2010 to 2019. Corporate governance attributes that were employed in this study included; Board Independence, Board Ownership, Board Meeting and Firm Age which also represented the independent variables. Non-Debt Tax Shield (a proxy for tax shelter) as seen in prior related literature was employed as the dependent variable. Ex-post facto and descriptive research design were both employed in the methodology. Specifically, the study employed Robust Standard Error Regression Analyses estimator with major emphases on its marginal effect to test the study hypotheses which clearly suggested that Board Ownership is a strong and significant indicator necessary to drive down tax sheltering activities in Nigeria. This finding sternly supports the Agency Theory as propounded by Mitnick and Ross which suggested that Board Ownership reduces the conflict of interest between managers and shareholders by aligning the interests of both parties and lowers the perquisites of managers and associated incentives. Therefore, in line with the outcomes obtained, this study recommended that stakeholders of non- financial listed companies seeking lower tax shelter practices may need to consider introducing more equity ownership for its Directors suggesting that encouraging greater managerial shareholding will mitigate aggressive practices of tax planning thereby reducing owner-manager conflict within listed non-financial firms in Nigeria.

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