Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Posts tagged ‘co-operative compliance’

Cooperative Compliance: Best Practices re: Global Mobility

Cooperative compliance is an initiative that is being used more regularly to further efforts by tax administrations for tax transparency.  (Refer to 13 June, 2013 post: OECD: A Framework for Co-operative Compliance)

The referenced PwC Tax Policy Bulletin highlights the use of this popular technique for Global Mobility compliance and Best Practices.  The Bulletin provides a primer for processes of global mobility compliance and integration of a cooperative compliance approach, including the relevant benefits and risks.

Click to access pwc-cooperative-compliance-global-mobility-tax-policy.pdf

Key observations:

  • Many countries have the potential to immediately negotiate an agreement to streamline mobile employee compliance.
  • There is an opportunity to minimize/control risks due to global talent shifts, short-term business travelers / assignees, targeted tax audits, administrative complexity, Permanent Establishment (PE) exposure, etc.
  • Tax control framework methodologies should be in place for review by tax authorities to review internal processes.
  • This initiative should be in synergy with the global / regional / country tax strategy for alignment.

This important initiative should be supported by tax expertise for the global mobility function via internal and/or external resources.  Accordingly, the impetus of tax transparency, complexity and corporate accountability may provide perfect timing to review the organizational structure of the global mobility function and inherent tax expertise provided, resulting in a Best Practice methodology as part of the global tax risk framework.

OECD: Best Practices for Tax administrations

OECD – Tax Administration 2013
This is a unique reference source of high level comparative information on aspects of tax administration system design and practice covering the world’s major revenue bodies. This edition updates performance-related and descriptive material contained in prior editions with new data and supplements this with new features including coverage of 3 additional countries (i.e. Brazil, Columbia, and Hong Kong (China). For the first time, this edition of the series includes comparative information on all 34 member countries of the OECD, the EU and, the G20, as well as certain other countries (e.g. Singapore and South Africa). New subject covered in this series include: 1) a description of how revenue bodies engage and support tax intermediaries. In addition, the series includes extensive description of organizational reforms underway in many countries to improve efficiency and effectiveness, for many in an environment where public sector funding is being significantly reduced.

http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/taxation/tax-administration-2013_9789264200814-en#page1

Summary of Topics:

  • Institutional arrangements for tax administrations
  • Organisation of revenue bodies
  • Strategic management
  • Human resource management and tax administration
  • Resources
  • Operational performance
  • Electronic services
  • Tax administration and tax intermediaries
  • Administrative frameworks
  • Various appendices

As the concept of co-operative compliance becomes more commonly practiced, this reference is a valuable contribution to form Best Practices for tax administrations.

Additionally, it is useful for MNE’s to review and gain a better understanding of the issues faced by tax administrations, with a proactive effort needed to form a win-win opportunity to achieve a fair and consistent international tax framework.

Italy: New Co-operative Compliance Program

http://www.agenziaentrate.gov.it/wps/content/nsilib/nsi/documentazione/regime+di+adempimento+collaborativo+-+grandi+contribuenti/pilot+project+-+english+version

The Italian tax administration will be accepting applications until 31 July 2013 for their new Co-operative Compliance program.  The OECD Framework for Co-operative Compliance, as summarized in my posting of 13 June 2013, is intended to bring certainty into the tax filing and controversy process while  developing a win-win relationship.

Mutual cooperation and transparency are the keys to success for this new initiative.

Mandatory requirements

  • being qualified as a “Large Taxpayer” (under the section 27, paragraph 10, of decree-law no. 185/2008, as converted by section 1 of law no. 2/2009), i.e. taxpayers with total turnover or operating revenues not less than 100 million/€, with reference to the tax year 2011;
  • having implemented an organizational model pursuant to section 6 of legislative Decree no. 231/2001 or having adopted a “Tax Control Framework” to manage tax risks

Optional requirements

  • belonging to a multinational group of companies, or to carry out its business activity in Italy or abroad through permanent establishments;
  • having adopted similar cooperative compliance programmes in foreign jurisdictions or having subscribed a code of conduct with other tax administrations;
  • having already entered into initiatives falling within the concept of cooperative compliance in Italy, such as the International Tax Ruling (provided for by section 8 of decree-law no. 269 of 30 September 2003, converted with amendments into law no. 326 of 24 November 2003 and implemented with Regulation of the Director of the Revenue Agency of 23 July 2004) or having adopted the transfer pricing documentation requirements regime.

Note the importance of having established a Tax Control Framework to manage tax risks, a mandatory requirement for this program.

OECD: A Framework for Co-operative Compliance

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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