Recently adopted or proposed initiatives at international and EU level to increase transparency in taxation (the exchange of bank account and other financial information, country by country reporting in annual reports and transfer pricing documentation, tax planning disclosure rules, mandatory exchange of information on tax rulings) will provide tax administration with large amounts of taxpayer data. An efficient use of IT will provide tools for risk assessment, targeting tax audits and countering tax avoidance.If well-designed, transparency-enhancing measures and the use of IT can benefit the taxpayer. On-line taxpayer accounts, pre-filled tax returns and a transparent communication policy explaining tax administrations´ positions may facilitate compliance. However, some of these initiatives may touch on the taxpayer´s rights to privacy and effective representation and may make taxpayers pay more tax than legally owed, by discouraging them from planning within the limits of the law. At the same time, there is a revived interest in the protection and formal recognition of the taxpayer´s rights:
- The European Commission is planning the publication of a “European Taxpayers´ Code”.
- The CFE, together with AOTCA, the Asia-Oceania Tax Consultants´ Association, and STEP, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, presented a draft Model Taxpayer Charter of rights and responsibilities of taxpayers. After consultation with the OECD and other stakeholders, a final version of the Model Taxpayer Charter is due to be published in 2015.
- Lastly, the International Fiscal Association (IFA), in 2015, published a country benchmark identifying minimum standards and best practices in the protection of taxpayer rights.
Please find here below the conference documents: