Cooperative Compliance : A Multi-stakeholder and Sustainable Approach to Taxation
Jeffrey Owens, Jonathan Leigh Pemberton

National taxation authorities around the world are rapidly improving international cooperation, given the unprecedented triple impact of persistent revelations of large-scale corporate tax avoidance, the ever-increasing intricacies of digital cross-border transactions, and the unprecedented revenue deficits engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also a growing recognition that improving tax compliance needs to be reconciled with a legitimate desire on the part of businesses to have some certainty about their taxes. Cooperative compliance is one way to achieve that. This first analysis of the details of cooperative compliance programmes currently in operation describes tax control frameworks, suggests practical examples to assist practitioners in tax administrations and the private sector, and provides multiple perspectives on the design and legitimacy of such programmes. Drawing on detailed information contributed by tax practitioners and academics from a wide range of jurisdictions worldwide, the book identifies and explains certain crucial elements of successful programmes: the criteria for access to cooperative compliance (e.g., is the programme voluntary or mandatory? Is there a financial threshold? Will the criteria be publicly available?); model legislation that can facilitate the operation of such programmes (statutory provisions, administrative rules and procedures, etc.); the foundations for an international agreement on an audit assurance standard for tax control frameworks (including the role of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Union (EU), and other international organizations); how to develop a methodology to measure the cost and benefits of cooperative compliance programmes; detailed case studies of existing compliance programmes in Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Russia; and how to communicate a cooperative compliance programme to obtain trust from society. The analysis draws on two years of work led by WU Global Tax Policy Center (GTPC) at Vienna University of Economics and Business in cooperation with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA). The project brought together over two hundred people from 25 countries, including public officials, businesses, and academics. Tax certainty and predictability are key components for providing a tax environment that is conducive to cross-border trade and investment, and, in the long term, it is in the interest of both governments and businesses to minimize tax uncertainty as much as possible. This truly helpful book promises to pave the way to an internationally effective tax framework that will be welcomed by taxation authorities and practitioners worldwide.

Kluwer Law International
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