In a tax—public goods reciprocity framework between citizens and the state, managers view taxes as a payment to the government in exchange for public goods, and hence they adjust their willingness to pay taxes as public good quality changes. We show that corporate tax planning intensity increases with ground-level ozone pollution. Revisions in ozone pollution regulations cause counties that failed the revised and more stringent standards to reduce ozone pollution. Consequently, firms headquartered in these counties reduced corporate tax planning intensity relative to firms in other counties. The ozone-tax link varies in the predicted directions with public attention to pollution, potential welfare loss due to ozone, managers’ stakeholder orientation, taxpayers’ polluting status, political preferences, and civic norms. We also find consistent results for Superfund cleanups of hazardous waste sites. Our research sheds light on reciprocity as a potential mechanism influencing corporate tax compliance.
- PhD in Accounting, University of Waterloo, Canada
- MSc in Statistics, University of Toronto, Canada
- MA in Economics, University of Toronto, Canada
- BA (First Class Honors), University of Alberta, Canada
Dr. Travis Chow’s research focuses on how taxes affect corporate and individual decision-making and has appeared in The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Contemporary Accounting Research, Management Science, and the Journal of Risk and Insurance. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Taxation Association. Currently, he teaches Management Control at HKU, and in the past, he has taught taxation and financial accounting at the undergraduate level, as well as an empirical tax research seminar for PhD students at Singapore Management University. Dr. Chow completed his undergraduate and graduate education in Canada after finishing high school in Hong Kong. Before pursuing his doctoral studies, he worked as an economic analyst in Toronto.
Travis currently teaches Management Control. His teaching experience includes taxation and financial accounting at the undergraduate level and empirical tax research at the doctoral level.
- Taxes and corporate decision making.
- Travis Chow, Zhongwen Fan, Li Huang, Oliver Zhen Li, Simon Li (2023), “Reciprocity in Corporate Tax Compliance — Evidence from Ozone Pollution.” Journal of Accounting Research, 61 (5): 1425–1477, Lead Article.
- Travis Chow, Jeffrey Hoopes, and Edward Maydew (2023), “Profit Shifting During Foreign Tax Holidays.” The Accounting Review, 98 (4): 115–142.
- Jiang Cheng, Travis Chow, Tzu-Ting Lin, and Jeffrey Ng (2022), “The Effect of Accounting for Income Tax Uncertainty on Tax‐Deductible Loss Accruals for Private Insurers.” Journal of Risk and Insurance, 89 (2), 505–544.
- Travis Chow, Sterling Huang, Kenneth J. Klassen, and Jeffrey Ng (2022), “The Influence of Corporate Income Taxes on Investment Location: Evidence from Corporate Headquarters Relocations.” Management Science, 68 (2), 1404–1425.
- Xia Chen, Qiang Cheng, Travis Chow, and Yanju Liu (2021), “Corporate In‐house Tax Departments.” Contemporary Accounting Research, 38 (1), 443–482.
- Travis Chow, Ken Klassen, and Yanju Liu (2016), “Targets’ Tax Shelter Participation and Takeover Premiums.” Contemporary Accounting Research, 33 (4), 1440–1472. Presented at 29th CAR Conference.
- Principal Investigator, Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund (17506123), 2023-2025.
- Co-Investigator, Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund (12501322), 2022-2024.
- FARS Excellence in Reviewing Award 2016, American Accounting Association.
- Principal Investigator, Singapore Ministry of Education Tier 1 Research Grant, 2016-2018.
- Principal Investigator, Singapore Ministry of Education Tier 1 Research Grant, 2015-2017.
- AAA/Deloitte/J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium Fellow, Lake Tahoe, 2012.
- Editorial Board, Journal of the American Taxation Association.
- Discussants for MIT Asia Conference, ATA Midyear Meeting, Oxford Tax Academic Symposium, EIASM Conference on Research in Taxation, SMU Accounting Symposium, Xiamen University Accounting Symposium, AAA Annual Meeting, CAAA Annual Conferences, LBS Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference.
- Ad hoc reviewer for journals: Contemporary Accounting Research, CAR Conference, European Accounting Review, International Journal of Accounting, Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Review of Accounting Studies, The Accounting Review, Journal of International Accounting Research, etc.
We undertake the first empirical analysis of profit shifting by U.S. firms during foreign tax holidays. We show that foreign tax holidays have become a prevalent and powerful tax planning strategy among U.S. firms. We find that U.S. firms significantly increase their outbound profit shifting while participating in foreign tax holidays. However, we also find that profit shifting associated with tax holidays comes at the cost of increased tax uncertainty. Our results have important implications for policy making and for understanding firm behavior.
This study examines the effects of jurisdictions’ corporate taxes and other policies on firms’ headquarters (HQ) location decisions. Using changes in state corporate income tax rates across time and states as the setting, we find that a one-percentage-point increase in the HQ state corporate income tax rate increases the likelihood of firms relocating their HQ out of the state by 16.8%, and an equivalent decrease in the HQ state rate decreases the likelihood of HQ relocations by 9.1%. Exploiting the unique tax policy features within the state apportionment system lends strong support to the interpretation that taxation drives this effect. Our analyses also demonstrate that state income tax features affect the destination of the HQ move. We contribute to the literature on corporate decision making by showing how state income taxation affects a real corporate decision that has significant economic consequences for the company and the state.
I am thrilled to be back and am looking forward to the opportunities to contribute to the HKU community in a variety of meaningful ways, including knowledge creation and talent grooming.
Accumulating years of research and teaching experiences in Canada and Singapore, Dr. Chow believes that it is the time for him to return and contribute to the city that raises him. Joining us in July 2020, Dr. Chow is an Assistant Professor in Accounting.