The Relationship between Human Resource Investment Inefficiency and Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Tehran Stock Exchange

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Management ,Economics and accounting , Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Accounting, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Accounting, Technical and Vocational University(TVU), Tehran, Iran


Human resource is one of the most critical resources of any organisation that can play an influential role in different functional departments of companies. One of these practices is tax avoidance, which may occur due to the company's poor economic condition. In this study, we intend to investigate the relationship between the inefficiency of investment in human resources and tax avoidance in companies in Iran as a developing country. The research method used among the companies listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange is quasi-experimental with a post-event design. A sample consisting of 108 companies from 2013-2020 was examined using multivariate regression and panel data. The results of examining and analysing the hypotheses showed that over-investment and under-investment in human resource has a positive and significant effect on corporate tax avoidance. It seems that over-investment in human resources leads to an increase in administrative and sales costs (agency costs), and under-investment in human resources leads to a decrease in productivity. Companies tend to pursue policies to survive in competition with other companies, and corporate executives pursue tax avoidance as a helpful solution in this regard.


Main Subjects

  1. Agrawal, K.K. (2007). Corporate Tax Planning.Atlantic, New Delhi, Sixth edition.
  2. Asiri, M., Al-Hadi, A., Taylor, G. and Duong, L. (2020). Is corporate tax avoidance associated with investment efficiency?. The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 52(3), pp. 101-143.
  3. Bailing, J., Rui, J. (2018). The impact of tax avoidance on enterprise investment efficiency.Journal of Discrete Mathematical Sciences and Cryptography, 21(6), pp. 1293-1298.
  4. Barney, J. and Wright, P.M. (1998). On Becoming a Strategic Partner: The Role of Human Resource in Gaining Competitive Advantage.Human Resource Management, 37(1), pp. 31-46.<31::AID-HRM4>3.0.CO;2-W
  5. Baron, J.N. and Dreps, D.M. (2002). Strategic human resource: frameworks for general managers.New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  6. Bartlett, C.A. and Ghoshal, S. (2002). Building Competitive Advantage Through People. Sloan Management Review, 43(2), pp. 34-41.
  7. Becker, G. (1964). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education. National Bureau of Economic Research,360(1), pp. 208-209
  8. Bhabra, G.S., Kaur, P. and Seoungpil, A. (2018). Corporate governance and the sensitivity of investments to cash flows. Accounting & Finance, 58(2), pp. 367-396.
  9. Biddle, G.C., Hilary, G. and Verdi, R.S. (2009). How does financial reporting quality relate to investment efficiency?. Journal of accounting and economics, 48(2-3), pp. 112-131.
  10. Cameron, K.S. (1994). Strategies for successful organisational downsizing.Human Resource Management,33(2), pp. 189–211.
  11. Comprix, J., Ha, J., Feng, M. and Kang, T. (2016). Tax Avoidance and Corporate Investment Behavior: The Role of Information Environment. Working paper, Syracuse GREAT OFFSHORE/7.RESOURCES/ACADEMIC PAPERS/TAX AVOIDANCE/Tax Avoidance and Corporate Investment Behavior
  12. Cook, K.A., Moser, W.J. and Omer, T.C. (2017). Tax avoidance and ex-ante cost of capital.Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 44(7-8), pp. 1109-1136.
  13. Core, J.E., Guay, W.R.and Verdi, R.S. (2006). Agency problems of excess endowment holdings in not-for-profit firms.Journal of accounting and economics, 41(3), pp. 307-333.
  14. Desai, M., Dharmapala, D. and Fung, W. (2005). Taxation and the evolution of aggregate corporate ownership concentration.NBER Working Papers National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ellinger, A.D., Ellinger, A.E., Yang, B. and Howton, S.W. (2002). The relationship between the learning organisation concept and firm’s financial performance: An empirical assessment. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13(1), pp. 5–22.
  16. Francis, B, Sun, X. and Wu, Q. (2013). Managerial Ability and Tax Avoidance. Available at:
  17. Gomariz, M.F.C. and Ballesta, J.P.S. (2013). Financial reporting quality, debt maturity and investment efficiency. Journal of Banking & Finance, 40(1), pp. 494-506.
  18. García-Meca, E., Ramón-Llorens, M.C. and Martínez-Ferrero, J. (2021). Are narcissistic CEOs more tax aggressive? The moderating role of internal audit committees", Journal of Business Research, 129(3), pp. 223-235.
  19. Hanlon, M. and Heitzman, S. (2010). A review of tax research.Journal of Accounting and Economics, 50 (2-3), pp. 127-178, .
  20. Hendricks, L. (2002). How important is human capital for development. American Economic­ Review, 92(1), pp. 198-219.
  21. Hubbard, R. (1998). Capital-market imperfections and investment. Journal of Economic Literature, 36(1), pp. 193-225.
  22. Jung, B., Lee, W. and Weber, D.P. (2014). Financial reporting quality and labor investment efficiency.Contemporary Accounting Research, 31(4), pp. 1047–1076.
  23. Khurana, I.K., Moser, W.J. and Raman, K.K. (2018). Tax Avoidance, Managerial Ability, and Investment Efficiency. Abacus, 54(4), pp. 547-575.
  24. Mocanu, ,  Constantin,  S. B. and R─âileanu,  V .(2021). Determinants of tax avoidance – evidence on profit tax-paying companies in Romania. Economic Research-EkonomskaIstrazivanja, pp. 1-21. https:// 10.1080/1331677X.2020.1860794
  25. Mohammed, J., Bhatti, M.K., Jariko, G.A. and Zehri, A.W. (2013).Importance of Human Resource Investment for Organisations and Economy: A Critical Analysis. Journal of Managerial Sciences, 7(1), pp. 127-140.
  26. Nguyen, M.H.,Pham T. A, Y. and Nguyen, H. P. N.(2021).The impact of tax avoidance on the value of listed firms in Vietnam. Cogent Business & Management, 8(1), pp. 231-252.
  27. Pinnuck, M. and Lillis, A. (2007). Profits versus losses: Does reporting an accounting loss act as a heuristic trigger to exercise the abandonment option and divest employees?.The Accounting Review, 35(82), pp. 1031–1053.
  28. Stein, J.C. (2002). Information production and capital allocation: Decentralised versus hierarchical firms.The Journal of Finance, 57(5), pp. 1891-1921.
  29. Stewart, T. (2004). The Wealth of Knowledge and Intellectual Capital.New York, NY: Doubleday, Random House, Inc.
  30. Wilson, R.J. (2009). An examination of corporate tax shelter participants.The Accounting Review, 84(3), pp. 969-999.