We use data envelopment analysis (DEA) to develop a measure of effective tax planning that is theoretically aligned with the Scholes-Wolfson paradigm and captures how efficiently firms maximize after-tax returns given their operating, investing, and financing decisions. We then (1) document that the measure is associated with higher after-tax returns to provide assurance DEA achieves its objective in our setting, (2) demonstrate that the measure is incremental to cash ETRs in predicting after-tax returns, (3) validate the measure by showing its association with lower tax and non-tax costs, and (4) provide evidence that the measure captures something about taxes distinct from overall firm performance. This measure is useful to researchers given the known limitations of ETRs as a measure of tax planning.

Data Availability:Tax Effectiveness values are available on the authors' websites.

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