No. 46: The German Business Panel: Insights on corporate taxation and accounting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Year: 2021
Type: Working Paper


We introduce the German Business Panel (GBP), a novel large-scale survey of German firms. The GBP periodically surveys executives and key decision-makers in a representative sample of German firms, taking stock of their perceptions, views, and expectations. A particular focus of the survey is on the role of accounting and tax regulation for companies. We present findings from the first wave of the GBP which was in the field over the summer 2020 and addressed the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for companies in Germany. Relying on more than 10,000 complete responses, we disentangle how the economic impact of Covid-19 hits industries with varying intensity. We also document that state aid was insufficient for the hardest-hit firms. As a consequence, firms systematically took additional measures like cost-cutting or reducing cash outflows. The state interventions did not lead to managers expecting a substantial increase in future tax rates. We conclude by providing an outlook on how researchers can access and use the survey data for their own research questions.

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin and Goethe University Frankfurt who share the same research agenda.