Uncertain tax positions: Challenges faced by micro cap companies
This dissertation focuses on FIN 48 disclosures within small U.S. public companies, an often overlooked but important segment within the U.S. economy. FIN 48 is a FASB requirement which significantly alters how companies recognize, measure, and disclose tax positions for financial statement reporting purposes. In this dissertation, I present two essays which address factors potentially associated with FIN 48 and micro cap companies. Essay I centers on the development of an empirical model examining potential factors affecting a micro cap company's tax contingencies related to the current fiscal year's financial reporting activities and tax return. Logistic regression results suggest that the presence of an in-house tax department and earnings growth are moderately significant predictors of the presence (or absence) of current fiscal year additions to tax reserves. Essay II investigates guidance provided to investors as to the estimated effects of FIN 48 adoption. This essay examines the guidance provided by SEC mandated SAB 74 disclosures in the quarter prior to FIN 48 adoption and attempts to explain factors which affect this guidance. Results suggest that industry affiliation is a significant predictor of the presence (or absence) of reliable investor guidance provided prior to FIN 48 adoption. These essays contribute to: mandatory disclosure theory, research related to a recent major regulatory change, and insight regarding micro cap companies.