The primary aims of this study are to identify whether there is any relationship between corporate tax avoidance and the cost of debt, and whether the level of institutional ownership moderates this relationship, with two hypotheses tests on sample of 110 listed firms in the main board of Bursa Malaysia during the year 2005 - 2009. This study supports prior papers with negative relationship between tax avoidance and the cost of debt, suggesting corporate tax avoidance activity can reduce the cost of debt of the firms. The significant and positive relation statistical result between corporate tax avoidance and the cost of debt indicates that tax - favored effect of corporate tax avoidance can serve as a debt for firms; hence tax avoidance serves as a substitute for the use of debt, which is consistent with trade - off theory. Additionally, the empirical evidence suggests that there is no significant effect of institutional ownership on this relationship, meaning that the level of institutional ownership does not impact on the relationship between tax avoidance and the cost of debt, regardless the level institutional ownership is high or low.
cost of debt book-tax difference institutional investors