The management of tax knowledge

This research focuses on the process of the management of tax knowledge within companies. Taxation influences operating and financing decisions by the direct imposition of a tax charge and indirectly through associated compliance costs. However, effective tax knowledge management can allow companies to reduce the adverse effects of taxation. This study of the process involved will be of direct relevance to taxpayers, tax practitioners and policy makers.

ACCA research report no. 112

John Hasseldine
University of Nottingham

Kevin Holland
University of Southampton

Pernill van der Rijt
University of Nottingham


Corporation tax can influence a firm’s operating and financial decisions, not only by the direct imposition of the tax itself, but also indirectly though associated compliance costs. Firms can attempt to reduce the impact of taxation, both through tax planning and by ensuring that compliance-related tasks are carried out efficiently.

It goes without saying that tax knowledge is an important determinate of successful corporate tax planning. Paradoxically, governments may also desire firms to be aware of, or sensitive to, tax legislation. This may be in order to reduce administrative and compliance costs and, if tax legislation is being employed as a public policy tool, to change or encourage particular actions or activities, such as investment in research and development-related activities.

An important dimension of an efficient tax system is the processes by which taxpayers become aware of tax legislation and other tax-related information, referred to for the purposes of this research as ‘tax knowledge’.