Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

http://www.oecd.org/tax/administration/co-operative-compliance.htm

This insightful report focuses on practical experiences of 24 countries, with a chart summarizing each country’s status for this initiative.  Additional features are identified leading to successful “co-operative compliance” strategies.

A framework is developed, based on a business case approach, for revenue authorities to measure results, and success.  The report adopts a systematic approach to tax risk and discusses the five pillars established in 2008 based on understandings for:

  • Commercial awareness
  • Impartiality
  • Proportionality
  • Openness through disclosure and transparency
  • Responsiveness

Evolving concepts include:

  • Future direction of initiatives
  • Multilateral co-operative compliance
  • Approaches by tax authorities to measure results and success.

The report provides useful links in Appendix A for country specific information and is an excellent reference to develop further understanding into this rapidly growing initiative, while providing a foundation for Best Practices including:

  1. Documentation of the current enhanced relationship / co-operative compliance methods in use.
  2. Reviewing available co-operative compliance programs for the 24 countries in the report.
  3. Developing a process determining if, when and how the voluntary programs are to be adopted.
  4. Developing a measurement for success based on current initiatives, as well as benchmarking results and experiences with your peers.
  5. Reviewing this evolving initiative annually.
  6. Developing Memorandum of Understanding learnings, as programs are both formal and informal in approach.
  7. Advising regional teams of country developments for continual awareness and future opportunities.
  8. Comparing resource limitations with potential benefits for future co-operative compliance initiatives.

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