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Evangelos Chytis ORCID logo, Stergios Tasios ORCID logo, Ioannis Georgopoulos ORCID logo, Zois Hortis

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The purpose of this paper is to research a possible relationship between corporate tax avoidance with corporate governance characteristics such as board independence, the type of auditing company and the concentration of ownership, and a range of selected financial indicators such as return on capital employed, liquidity, leverage, and company size. For this reason, the analysis was based on quantitative and qualitative data derived from the annual financial reports from a sample of 56 companies listed on the Athens Stock Exchange covering the period 2011 to 2015. As a measure of tax avoidance, the cash effective tax rate was used, while a linear regression model using the random effect method was estimated in order to examine the factors that affect it. The results of the study show that the cash effective tax rate has a statistically significant positive relationship with company size and a significant negative relationship with return on capital employed. All in all, the research shows that Greek large-sized companies show less tax avoidance, whereas in companies with a high return on capital employed the extent of tax avoidance is higher. There was no statistically significant impact of corporate governance variables on tax avoidance.

Keywords: Cash Effective Tax Rate, Tax Avoidance, Corporate Governance, Audit Firms, Ownership Concentration, Board Independence

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization – E.C. and I.G.; Methodology – E.C. and I.G.; Formal Analysis - S.T. and E.C.; Resources – Z.H.; Writing – Z.H., E.C., and S.T.; Supervision – E.C.

JEL Classification: M14, M38, M40, M41

Received: 25.05.2019
Accepted: 18.07.2019
Published online: 19.07.2019

How to cite this paper: Chytis, E., Tasios, S., Georgopoulos, I., & Hortis, Z. (2019). The relationship between tax avoidance, company characteristics and corporate governance: Evidence from Greece. Corporate Ownership & Control, 16(4), 77-86.