Corporate Tax Planning Practice: A Bourdiesian’s Perspective

Holy Kwabla Kportorgbi, Samuel Gameli Gadzo, John Gartchie Gatsi


This paper departs from traditional taxonomy of tax planning research that treats structures and actors as independent of each other. Using multiple semi structured interview of two major stakeholder groups-tax practitioners and tax researchers, the paper attempted social construction of tax planning practice. Emerging themes from the data reflects three postulates in Bourdieu’s social practice theory.

Our findings establish tax planning as a social practice, under the meaning of Bourdieu’s theory of social practice.  Structuring properties, in the form of habitus of actors and their valuable tax planning capital, interract, in a dialectic manner with tax structures to produce tax practice.

Our findings dispel traditional conception of tax planning structures and actors as independent of each other. The findings, thus support a notion of structure-actor duality. We postulate a framework comprising field, capital and habitus interacting to explain variations in tax planning practice across space and time.

On the strengh of our finding that tax planning practice invoke serveral issues in other disciplines, we recommend that researchers in the field of accounting draw from theories in behavioural sciences.

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