Date of Completion


Embargo Period



effective tax rates, Management Discussion and Analysis, voluntary disclosure

Major Advisor

John Phillips

Associate Advisor

David Weber

Associate Advisor

Assaf Eisdorfer

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


I investigate management’s decision to voluntarily provide an effective tax rate (ETR) forecast in the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) section of form 10-K. I find that managers are more likely to initiate and continue providing tax rate guidance in the MD&A when the firm has (1) greater foreign operations, (2) prior period M&A activity, and/or (3) larger special items. These results hold after controlling for a firm’s level of tax aggressiveness, which prior studies show is associated with the voluntary disclosure of tax-related information. These results are consistent with managers providing additional information in the MD&A when there is more demand from financial statement users for such information. In addition, although I find that managers’ MD&A ETR estimates are conservative, I find that they are more accurate in predicting the subsequent year’s ETR than forecasts generated using information from current and prior year ETRs. Accordingly, these results lead to a better understanding of firms’ use of the MD&A to communicate tax-related information incremental to the income tax footnote.