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Lillian Mills


Department:     Accounting

Additional Titles:     Professor Beverly H. and William P. O'Hara Chair in Business Lois and Richard Folger Dean's Leadership Chair

Research Areas:     Accounting - Financial, Accounting Regulation and Liability, Taxation

Lillian Mills, an internationally renowned expert in tax and accounting, serves as dean of The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, a leading business school in one of the country’s largest public research institutions. She is recognized as a top-ranked scholar whose policy-relevant research influences accounting, economics, and law; an inspiring and committed strategic leader; and an award-winning educator and champion for instructional innovation in multiple, diverse settings.

Mills is responsible for the development and execution of long-range strategic planning for Texas McCombs, launching comprehensive rebranding, facility expansion, and operational oversight; innovating curriculum; and engaging the business community for faculty thought leadership and student experiential learning. Mills took the helm at the height of the pandemic, successfully transitioning McCombs’ 600 faculty and staff members and 6,000 students to online learning and executing a safe return to in-person education. She oversees a more than $170 million budget and in two years has raised more than $120 million to endow critical facilities, scholarships, and programs. Prior to becoming dean, she served as chair of the school’s Department of Accounting from 2011 to 2015, continuing its decades-long rank at No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report.

Mills is known for her passionate teaching and for creating a successful learning environment, receiving high-profile teaching awards during her career. Most recently, she received the prestigious 2023 Outstanding Accounting Educator Award from the American Accounting Association. In 2019, Mills was the first to receive the McCombs Undergraduate Amplify Award, a student-managed award to recognize faculty members who foster highly inclusive classrooms. A dedicated mentor for junior colleagues and doctoral students, Mills received the national EY Ray M. Sommerfeld Outstanding Educator Award in 2014 from the American Taxation Association. She serves as the board chair of UT Austin’s Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute.

Prior to joining McCombs in 2006, she worked on tax reform at the U.S. Treasury Department as the Stanley Surrey senior research fellow in the Office of Tax Analysis. She consulted for the Internal Revenue Service for 20 years. She was on the faculty of the University of Arizona from 1997 to 2005, and she practiced professionally with two national CPA firms from 1981 to 1989. Mills served as an editor for both The Accounting Review and Contemporary Accounting Research. She received the McCombs Career Research Award in 2019 and the 2005 Wildman Medal from the American Accounting Association for significant contributions to the practice of accounting.

Mills earned a doctoral degree in accounting from the University of Michigan and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida.

Outside of McCombs, she serves on the board of advisors for the School of Business and Technology at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically Black college in Austin. She also performs service in the addiction and alcoholism community. She and her husband, Jim, enjoy walking with dog Reacher, golfing, and especially visiting their grown children and grandchildren in Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Mexico.




Teaching Awards

American Accounting Association's Outstanding Accounting Educator Award 


American Taxation Association's EY Ray Sommerfeld Outstanding Tax Educator Award 


McCombs Faculty Honor Roll 


Professional Awards

American Taxation Association Service Award




American Taxation Association Manuscript Award 


Deloitte Wildman Medal 

Anthony Welsch, Brady Williams, and Lillian F. Mills.
Do Accounting Earnings Provide Useful Information for State Tax Revenue Forecasts?
Review of Accounting Studies. Forthcoming.

Ryan Hess, and Lillian F. Mills.
Government Assistance: A Growing, Under-disclosed Financing Source. 
Accounting Horizons. Forthcoming.

Dain C. Donelson, Colin Koutney, and Lillian F. Mills. Jun 2024. Nonrecurring Income Taxes. Review of Accounting Studies 29(2): 1741-1793.

Kelvin K. F. Law, and Lillian F. Mills. 2022. Taxes and Haven Activities: Evidence from Linguistic Cues. The Accounting Review 97(5): 349-375.

Ashish Agarwal, Shannon Chen, and Lillian F Mills. 2021. Entity Structure and Taxes: An Analysis of Embedded Pass-Through Entities. The Accounting Review 96(6), 1-27.


Kevin S. Markle, Lillian F Mills, and Brady Williams. 2020. Implicit Corporate Taxes and Income Shifting. The Accounting Review 95(3), 315-342.


Kevin Law and Lillian F Mills. 2019. Financial Gatekeepers and Investor Protection: Evidence from Criminal Background Checks. Journal of Accounting Research 57(2), 491-543.


Lillian F Mills. 2019. Pursuing Relevant (Tax) Research. The Accounting Review 94(4), 437-446.


Kenny Z. Lin, Lillian F Mills, Fang Zhang, and Yongbo Li. 2018. Do Political Connections Weaken Tax Enforcement Effectiveness? Contemporary Accounting Research 35(4), 1941-1972.


Cristi A. Gleason, Lillian F Mills, and Michelle L. Nessa. 2018. Does FIN 48 Improve Firms' Estimates of Tax Reserves? Contemporary Accounting Research 35(3), 1395-1429.


Brian Bratten, Cristi A. Gleason, Stephannie A. Laroque, and Lillian F Mills. 2017. Forecasting Taxes: New Evidence from Analysts. The Accounting Review 92(3), 1-29.


Thomas R. Kubick, G. Brandon Lockhart, Lillian F Mills, and John R. Robinson. 2017. IRS and Corporate Taxpayer Effects of Geographic Proximity. Journal of Accounting and Economics 63(2/3), 428-453.


Kelvin Law and Lillian F Mills. 2017. Military Experience and Corporate Tax Avoidance. Review of Accounting Studies 22(1), 141-184.


Kevin K. F. Law and Lillian F Mills. 2015. Taxes and Financial Constraints: Evidence from Linguistic Cues. Journal of Accounting Research 53(4), 777-819.


Kenny Z. Lin, Lillian F Mills, and Fang Zhang. 2014. Public versus Private Firm Responses to the Tax Rate Reduction in China. Journal of the American Taxation Association 36(1), 137-163.


Sanjay Gupta, Lillian F Mills, and Erin M. Towery. 2014. The Effect of Mandatory Financial Statement Disclosures on Tax Reporting and Collections: The Case of FIN 48 and Multistate Tax Avoidance. Journal of the American Taxation Association 36(2), 203-229.


Jonathan Cohn, Lillian F Mills, and Erin M. Towery. 2014. The Evolution of Capital Structure and Operating Performance After Leveraged Buyouts: Evidence from U.S. Corporate Tax Returns. Journal of Financial Economics 111(2), 469-494.


Lillian F Mills, Sarah E. Nutter, and Casey M. Schwab. 2013. The Effect of Political Sensitivity and Bargaining Power on Taxes: Evidence from Federal Contractors. The Accounting Review 88(3), 977-1005.


M. Hanlon, G. Krishnan, and Lillian F Mills. 2012. Audit Fees and Book-Tax Differences. Journal of the American Taxation Association 34(1), 55-86.


J. Comprix, Lillian F Mills, and A. Schmidt. 2012. Bias in Quarterly Estimates of Annual Effective Tax Rates and Earnings Management. Journal of the American Taxation Association 34(1), 31-53.


Cristi Gleason and Lillian F Mills. 2011. Do Auditor-Provided Tax Services Improve the Accuracy of Tax Expense? Contemporary Accounting Research 28(5), 1484-1509.


Lillian F Mills, Susan Albring, and Kaye Newberry. 2011. Do Debt Constraints Influence U.S. Multinationals' Repatriations? Journal of the American Taxation Association 33(2), 1-27.


Lillian F Mills and Lisa De Simone. 2010. Book Review of Developing a World Tax Organization: The Way Forward. Journal of the American Taxation Association 32(1), 84-86.


Lillian F Mills, Leslie Robinson, and Richard Sansing. 2010. FIN 48 and Tax Compliance. The Accounting Review 86(5), 1721-1742.


Jennifer Blouin, Cristi Gleason, Lillian F Mills, and Stephanie Sikes. 2010. Pre-Empting Disclosure? Firms' Decisions Prior to FIN No. 48. The Accounting Review 85(3), 791-815.


Gleason, Cristi and Lillian F Mills. 2008. Evidence of Differing Market Responses to Beating Analysts' Targets through Tax Expense Decreases. Review of Accounting Studies 13, 295-318.


Graham, John R. and Lillian F Mills. 2008. Using Tax Return Data to Simulate Corporate Marginal Tax Rates. Journal of Accounting and Economics 46, 366-388.


Hanlon, M., Lillian F Mills, and J. Slemrod. 2007. An Empirical Examination of Big Business Tax Noncompliance, in Taxing Corporate Income in the 21st Century, A. Auerbach, J.R. Hines, Jr. and J. Slemrod, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 171-210.


McClelland, J. and Lillian F Mills. 2007. Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Taxing Book Income. Tax Notes (Feb. 19), 779-787.


Blouin, J., C. Gleason, Lillian F Mills, and S. Sikes. 2007. What Can We Learn About Uncertain Tax Benefits from FIN48? National Tax Journal 60, 521-35.


Lillian F Mills. 2006. Five Things Economists and Lawyers Can Learn from Accountants: An Illustration Using the Domestic Production Activities Deduction. National Tax Journal 59, 585-597.


Lillian F Mills. 2005. Discussion of “Taxpayers' Prepayment Positions and Tax Return Preparation Fees”. Contemporary Accounting Research22, 449-452.


Lillian F Mills and Newberry, Kaye J. 2005. Firms' Off-Balance Sheet and Hybrid Debt Financing: Evidence from Their Book-Tax Reporting Differences. Journal of Accounting Research 43, 251-282.


Albring, S., A. Dzuranin, and Lillian F Mills. 2005. Tax Savings on Repatriation of Foreign Earnings under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Tax Notes (Aug. 8).


Omer, Thomas C, Porter, Susan L, Yetman, Robert J, Magro, Anne M, Lillian F Mills, Sansing, Richard C, and Ayers, Benjamin C. 2004. A Discussion with Reviewers: Insights from the Midyear ATA Meetings. Journal of the American Taxation Association 26, 135-141.


Boynton, C., P. DeFillipes, P. Lisowsky, and Lillian F Mills. 2004. Consolidation Anomalies in Form 1120 Corporate Tax Return Data. Tax Notes 104, 405-417.


Lillian F Mills and Newberry, Kaye J. 2004. Do Foreign Multinationals' Tax Incentives Influence Their U.S. Income Reporting and Debt Policy? National Tax Journal 57, 89-107.


Dhaliwal, Dan S., Gleason, Cristi A, and Lillian F Mills. 2004. Last-Chance Earnings Management: Using the Tax Expense to Achieve Analysts' Forecasts. (Winner of the American Taxation Assoc. 2007 Manuscript Award). Contemporary Accounting Research 21(2), 431-459.


Lillian F Mills. 2004. Tax versus Book Accounting, in Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy, Jane Gravelle, ed. Urban Institute.


Boynton, C. and Lillian F Mills. 2004. The Evolving Schedule M-3: A New Era of Corporate Show and Tell? National Tax Journal 57, 757-772.


Lillian F Mills and Plesko, George E. 2003. Bridging the Reporting Gap: A Proposal for More Informative Reconciling of Book and Tax Income. (Winner of the 2005 American Accounting Assoc. Deloitte Wildman Medal). National Tax Journal 56, 865-893.


Gupta, Sanjay and Lillian F Mills. 2003. Does Disconformity in State Corporate Income Tax Systems Affect Compliance Cost Burdens? National Tax Journal 56, 355-371.


Cloyd, C. Bryan and Lillian F Mills. 2003. Firm Valuation Effects of the Expatriation of U.S. Corporations to Tax-Haven Countries. Journal of the American Taxation Association, (Supplement) 25, 87-109.


Lillian F Mills, Newberry, Kaye J, and Novack, Garth F. 2003. How Well Do Compustat NOL Data Identify Firms with U.S. Tax Return Loss Carryovers? Journal of the American Taxation Association 25, 1-17, 55-56.


Cloyd, B., Lillian F Mills, and C. Weaver. 2003. Market Nonreaction to Inversions. Tax Notes 98, 259-262.


Berliant, Marcus, Rothstein, Paul, Yitzhaki, Shlomo, Kitchen, John, Lillian F Mills, and Serra, Pablo. 2003. Summaries of Papers in this Issue. National Tax Journal 56, 297-301.


Gupta, Sanjay and Lillian F Mills. 2002. Corporate Multistate Tax Planning: Benefits of Multiple Jurisdictions. Journal of Accounting and Economics 33, 117-139.


Gleason, Cristi A and Lillian F Mills. 2002. Materiality and Contingent Tax Liability Reporting. The Accounting Review 77, 317-342.


Lillian F Mills, K. Newberry, and W. Trautman. 2002. Trends in Book-Tax Income and Balance Sheet Differences. Tax Notes 96, 1109-1124.


Lillian F Mills. 2001. Discussion of Do Firms Use the Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance to Manage Earnings? Journal of the American Taxation Association 23, 49-51.


Lillian F Mills and Newberry, Kaye J. 2001. The Influence of Tax and Nontax Costs on Book-Tax Reporting Differences: Public and Private Firms. Journal of the American Taxation Association 23, 1-19.


Albring, S., Lillian F Mills, and M. Plumlee. 2000. Beanie Baby Billions?: Uncollected Income Tax on Internet Auctions of Collectibles. Tax Notes(May 22), 1153-1160.


Lillian F Mills and K. Newberry. 2000. Hide and Seek: The Search for Transfer-Pricing Evidence Using Public and Private Data, in Proceedings of the Ninety-Second Annual Conference on Taxation, 1999, Washington, DC: National Tax Association, 166-70.


Lillian F Mills and Sansing, Richard C. 2000. Strategic Tax and Financial Reporting Decisions: Theory and Evidence. Contemporary Accounting Research 17, 85-106.


Lillian F Mills. 1999. Discussion of Demand for Services: Determinants of Tax Preparation Fees. Journal of the American Taxation Association21, 24-28.


Lillian F Mills. 1998. Book-Tax Differences and Internal Revenue Service Adjustments. Journal of Accounting Research 36, 343-356.


Lillian F Mills, E. Maydew, and M. Erickson. 1998. Investments in Tax Planning. Journal of the American Taxation Association 20, 1-20.


Lillian F Mills. 1996. Corporate Tax Compliance and Financial Reporting. National Tax Journal 49, 421-435.