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University of Exeter Business School

Professor Lynne Oats

Professor Lynne Oats

Professor of Taxation and Accounting


 Streatham Court 


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Lynne Oats is Professor of Taxation and Accounting, University of Exeter Business School,and formerly Deputy Director of the Tax Administration Research Centre. Lynne worked at the Australian Taxation Office for 10 years before moving to academia in 1988, initially at Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia and then moved to the UK in 1999, initially at Sheffield Hallam University, then Warwick University (2002-2010) and finally Exeter University from 2010 until 2020. Lynne retired from her full time role in December 2020, and is now working part time leading a new £1.3m ESRC funded 3 year research project entitled Fiscal Citizenship. 

Lynne’s research interests centre on taxation as a social and institutional practice, embracing historical and contemporary tax policy both nationally and internationally. She has a particular interest in new initiatives in relations between large corporate taxpayers, tax advisers and tax authorities and was part of an EU funded research consortium, FairTax (2015 - 2019). Lynne plays an active role in the tax academic community and served as a Commissioner on the Charity Tax Commission (2017-2019).

In addition to publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters, Lynne was founder and Managing Editor of Journal of Tax Administration (2015 - 2020), Associate Editor Accounting Forum (2018-2020) and is currently Subject Editor (Accounting) of British Tax Review. She is an editorial board member of Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Advances in Taxation. Lynne is co-author of Taxation Policy and Practice, and Principles of International TaxationLynne’s 2012 edited book Taxation: A Fieldwork Research Handbook is widely drawn on by scholars across the globe.

Nationality: British


PhD (Western Australia); PGCE (Warwick), PGDipBus (Curtin), B.Bus (WAIT)

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Research interests

  • Social theory and taxation
  • Tax policy and practice
  • Tax history

Research projects

Social theory and taxation, exploring the way in which social theory can be used to help better understand the practices by which tax policy is put into action in society.

Tax policy and practice: research with former and current PhD students, concerned with the way in which tax obligations are managed by both taxpayers and the tax authorities, including tax avoidance. Current projects include the role of tax advisors in the large business tax environment, risk management in the context of large businesses and cooperative compliance arrangements with tax authorities, the role of social media in tax compliance and international tax practice including transfer pricing.
Tax history: ongoing research into 18th and 19th century taxation, including the Newspaper Stamp Duty project that examines the emergence and subsequent demise of UK taxation of newspapers. Also 20th century taxation, in particular the taxation of corporate profits, including the World War I excess profits duty.


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Lymer A, Oats L (2021). Taxation - Policy and Practice 2021/22 (28th Edition). Abstract.
Lymer A, Oats L (2020). Taxation - Policy and Practice 2020/21 (27th Edition). Abstract.
Oats L, Mulligan E (2019). Principles of International Taxation.
Oats LM, Miller A, Mulligan E (2018). Principles of International Taxation., Bloomsbury Professional.
Lymer A, Oats LM (2018). Taxation Policy and Practice. Birmingham, Fiscal Publications.
Miller A, Oats L (2016). Principles of international taxation. London, Bloomsbury Professional.
Lymer A, Oats L (2015). Taxation Policy and Practice. Birmingham, Fiscal Publications.
Telford B, Oats LM (2014). Accounting Principles for Tax Purposes. London, Bloomsbury Publishing.
Oats L (2012). Preface.
Oats L (2012). Preface.
Oats L (2012). Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook., Routledge. Abstract.
Oats L, Tuck P (2008). The relationship between HM Revenue & Customs and large corporate taxpayers. London, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Centre for Business Performance.

Journal articles

Oats LM, Rogers H (In Press). Emerging Perspectives on the Evolving Arm’s Length Principle and Formulary Apportionment. British Tax Review, 2019, 150-165.
Onu D, Oats L, Kirchler E (In Press). The dynamics of internalised and extrinsic motivation in the ethical decision making of small business owners. Applied Psychology
Ormeño-Pérez R, Oats L (2023). Implementing problematic tax regulation: Hysteresis and bureaucratic revolutionaries within tax administrations. The British Accounting Review, 55(3), 101147-101147.
Ormeño-Pérez R, Oats L (2023). The making of problematic tax regulation: a Bourdieusian perspective. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 102663-102663.
De Widt D, Oats L (2022). Imagining cooperative tax regulation: Common origins, divergent paths. Critical Perspectives on Accounting Abstract.
Rogers H, Oats L (2022). Transfer pricing: changing views in changing times. Accounting Forum, 46(1), 83-107. Abstract.
Wynter C, Oats L (2021). Knock, knock: the taxman's at your door! Practical sense, empathy games, and dilemmas in tax enforcement. Journal of Business Ethics
Oats L (2021). Section 7: Small profits rate chargeable on companies from 1 april 2023; schedule 1: Small profits rate for non-ring fence profits. British Tax Review, 2021(4), 379-380.
Brown R, Oats L (2020). Accounting profits, tax profits and unitary taxation (Revisited). British Tax Review, 2020(1), 63-81. Abstract.
Oats L, Tuck P (2019). Corporate tax avoidance: is tax transparency the solution?. ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS RESEARCH, 49(5), 565-583. Author URL.
Rogers H, Oats LM (2019). Emerging Perspectives on the Evolving Arm's Length Principle and Formulary Apportionment. British Tax Review, 150-165.
Onu D, Oats L, Kirchler E, Hartmann AJ (2019). Gaming the System: an Investigation of Small Business Owners’ Attitudes to Tax Avoidance, Tax Planning, and Tax Evasion. Games, 10(4), 46-46. Abstract.
Larsen LB, Oats L (2019). Taxing Large Businesses: Cooperative Compliance in Action. Intereconomics, 54(3), 165-170. Abstract.
Oats LM, Wynter C (2018). Don't worry, we're not after you! Anancy culture and tax enforcement in Jamaica. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 1-14.
Onu D, Oats L (2018). Tax Talk: an Exploration of Online Discussions Among Taxpayers. Journal of Business Ethics, 149(4), 931-944. Abstract.
Oats LM, de Widt D (2017). Risk Assessment in a Cooperative Compliance Context: a Dutch UK Comparison. British Tax Review, 2017
Mulligan E, Oats L (2016). Tax and performance measurement: an inside story. Advances in Taxation, 23, 59-85. Abstract.
Onu D, Oats L (2016). “Paying tax is part of life”: Social norms and social influence in tax communications. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 124, 29-42.
Oats LM, Onu D (2015). Social Norms and Tax Compliance: Theoretical overview and practical implications. Journal of Tax Administration, 1(1), 113-137. Abstract.
Mulligan E, Oats L (2015). Tax professionals at work in Silicon Valley. Accounting, Organizations and Society Abstract.
Billings M, Oats L (2014). Innovation and pragmatism in tax design: Excess Profits Duty in the UK during the First World War. Accounting History Review, 24, 83-101. Abstract.
Oats L, Sadler P, Wynter C (2014). Taxing Jamaica: the stamp act of 1760 & Tacky's rebellion. eJournal of Tax Research, 12(1), 162-184. Abstract.
Boden R, Oats L (2013). Article type: Guest editorial from: Journal of applied accounting research, Volume 14, Issue 3. Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 14(3).
Oats LM, Sadler P (2013). The Newspaper Stamp Duty: the Unseen Hand in First Amendment Theory. British Tax Review(3).
Oats LM, Rogers H (2013). The Use of Advance Pricing Agreements in Transfer Pricing Management. British Tax Review, 76-94.
Rogers H, Oats LM (2013). The development and growth of the use of the APA procedure: the UK and the US. British Tax Review
Gracia L, Oats L (2012). Boundary work and tax regulation: a Bourdieusian view. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 37(5), 304-321. Abstract.
Oats LM, Leigh Pemberton J (2012). Key principles for efficient tax administration and main reform challenges. European Commission Economic Papers, 463, 52-59.
Oats LM, Sadler PB (2011). A conceptual map of tax rule change. Australian Tax Forum, 26(2), 110-135. Abstract.
Boden R, Killian S, Mulligan E, Oats L (2010). Critical perspectives on taxation. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(7), 541-544.
Mulligan E, Oats L (2009). Tax Risk Management: Evidence from the US. British Tax Review, 1(6), 680-703.
Oats L, Sadler P (2008). Accounting for the Stamp Act Crisis. Accounting Historians Journal, 35(2), 101-143.
Oats L, Sadler P (2008). Tax and the Labour Market: Taxing Personal Services Income in the UK. Journal of Applied Law and Practice, 1(1), 59-79.
Frecknall Hughes J, Oats L (2007). King John’s Tax Innovations: Extortion, Resistance and the Establishment of the Principle of Taxation by Consent. Accounting Historians Journal, 34(2), 75-107.
Oats L, Sadler P (2007). Securing the Repeal of the Tax on Material Thought. Accounting Business and Financial History, 17(3), 355-373.
Oats L (2005). Distinguishing Closely-Held Companies for Taxation Purposes: Australian Experience 1930 – 1972. Accounting Business and Financial History, 15(1), 35-61.
Oats L, Sadler P (2004). Political Suppression or Revenue Raising? Taxing Newspapers during the French Revolutionary Wars. Accounting Historians' Journal, 31(1), 91-128.
Oats L, Sadler P (2004). Political suppression or revenue raising? Taxing newspapers during the French revolutionary war. Accounting Historians Journal, 31(1), 93-128. Abstract.
Sadler P, Oats L (2002). This Great Crisis in the Republick of Letters: the Introduction in 1712 of Stamp Duties on Newspapers and Pamphlets. British Tax Review, 1(4), 353-366.
Oats L (2000). Undistributed Profits Tax in Australia. Australian Tax Forum, 15(2), 427-457.
James SR, Oats L (1998). Tax Harmonisation and the Case of Corporate Taxation. Revenue Law Journal, 8, 36-61.


Lamb M, Oats L (2020). Taxation. In  (Ed) The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, 694-715.  Abstract.
Zu Y, Oats L (2019). The Role of the Office of Tax Simplification in the United Kingdom and Lessons for Other Countries. In Evans C, Franzsen R, Stack L (Eds.) Tax Simplification: an African Perspective, Pretoria University Law Press. Abstract.
Oats L, Miller A (2017). III.72 Tax Evasion and Mutual Assistance. In  (Ed) Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, 512-514.
Oats L, Morris G (2017). Tax avoidance, power, and politics. In  (Ed) The Routledge Companion to Tax Avoidance Research, Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting. Abstract.
Oats LM, Morris GM (2015). Tax Complexity and Symbolic Power. In  (Ed) Tax Simplification, the Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 25-40.  Abstract.
Billings M, Oats L, de Cogan D (2015). The Board of Referees: “A Most Useful Addition to Fiscal Machinery”. In Harris P (Ed) Studies in the History of Tax Law, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 107-132.  Abstract.
Oats LM, Gracia L (2014). Taxation as a social and institutional practice. In Imam C (Ed) Wiley Dictionary of Management, Wiley.
Oats LM, Sadler P (2013). When accounting and law collide: the curious case of pre-1914 dividends in Australia. In Tiley J (Ed) Studies in Tax Law History, Oxford: Hart Publishing.
Rogers H, Oats L (2012). Case studies. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 26-33.
Oats L, Rogers H (2012). Communities of experts. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 107-113.
Oats L (2012). Gathering and interpreting qualitative data. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 19-25.
Oats L (2012). Governmentality. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 120-125.
Oats L, Gracia L (2012). Insights from Bourdieu. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 114-119.
Oats L (2012). On methods and methodology. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 9-18.
Oats L (2012). Tax as a social and institutional practice. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 3-8.
Oats L (2012). Tax research going forward. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 242-245.
Oats L, Tuck P (2012). The changing role of accountants in HMRC. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 171-177.
Oats L (2012). Varieties of institutionalism. In  (Ed) Taxation: a Fieldwork Research Handbook, 75-79.
Oats L, Tuck P (2009). The increasing use of financial reporting specialists to secure tax compliance: a UK Study. In Evans C, Walpole M (Eds.) Tax Administration: Safe Harbours and New Horizons, Birmingham: Fiscal Publications.
Hewitt P, Lymer A, Oats L (2002). History of International Business Taxation. In  (Ed) The International Taxation System, Springer Nature, 43-60.
Oats L (2002). Taxing Companies and Their Shareholders: Design Issues. In  (Ed) The International Taxation System, Springer Nature, 249-271.

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External Engagement and Impact

External positions

  • Steering Group Member, UK Tax Research Network
  • Managing Editor, Journal of Tax Administration
  • Assistant Editor, British Tax Review
  • Editorial Board member, Legal Issues in Business
  • Guest Editor, Critical Perspectives on Accounting (2010)
  • External Examiner, School of Advanced Studies, University of London (2012 – 2015)
  • External Examiner, University College Dublin (2012 – 2015)
  • External Examiner, National University of Ireland, Galway (2009 – 2013)
  • ESRC appointed Consultant to HMRC's Tax Opinion Survey project (2011 – 2014)
  • Contributor, Tax Development Programme, HM Treasury (2008 – 2011)

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Tax is a fast moving field that cuts across a number of disciplinary agendas. Students studying tax within the Business School can explore new ways of thinking, examining tax as a social phenomenon from the point of view of not only accounting and economics, but also law, politics, history and sociology.



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Supervision / Group


  • Zakir Akhand: Tax compliance in Bangladeshi small businesses in the UK and Canada
  • Taehee Kim: The Introduction of ETS in Korea: Accounting and taxation issues (2015)
  • Marhaini Mahmood: Risk Management in the Malaysian Inland Revenue Department (2013)
  • Rodrigo Ormeno: Tax Policy in Chile (2015)
  • Helen Rogers: International Tax transfer pricing (2010)
  • Festo Tusubira: Tax compliance in small businesses in Uganda
  • Carlene Wynter: Property Tax in Portmore, Jamaica (2015)

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