|Platform for the
Collaboration on Tax is a new entry this year
With international tax issues high on the global agenda like
never before, the Platform for Collaboration on Tax was a
welcome tool to encourage cooperation on tax issues, launched
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the OECD, the UN and
the World Bank Group in April 2016.
The Platform was established to spur regular discussions
between the four global organisations on the design and
implementation of standards for international tax matters. The
hope is that this increased engagement and communication will
strengthen their ability to provide capacity-building support
to developing countries, and develop combined guidance to
support governments in addressing tax challenges.
The OECD's BEPS Project has given governments and businesses
an idea of what a globally aligned tax system would be like.
The Platform aims to build on this premise by working to unify
tax systems with global standards for policies and
administration. Its work on bolstering international
cooperation on taxation has made a mark on the tax community at
a profound time.
In July, the Platform released the report, entitled
"Enhancing the effectiveness of external support in building
tax capacity in developing countries", in response to a G20
request from February 2016. The G20 asked the Platform to
"recommend mechanisms to help ensure effective implementation
of technical assistance programmes, and recommend how countries
can contribute funding for tax projects and direct technical
assistance, and report back with recommendations at our July
meeting". The report pointed to several key enablers to
building tax capacity:
- A coherent revenue strategy;
- A strong coordination among providers;
- A strong knowledge and evidence base;
- A strong regional cooperation and support; and
- A strengthened participation between developing countries
on international rule setting.
The report recommended a number of measures that support the
enablers. The "ambitious" recommendations set out in the report
are, according the Platform, "appropriately so, given the
commitment to substantially step up support for the OECD in the
tax area. It will be important to take stock of their
implementation and effectiveness".
However, the report is just the beginning. The Platform will
continue to deliver on its objectives to produce concrete joint
outputs and deliverables under an agreed work plan to
strengthen dynamic interactions between standard setting,
capacity and technical assistance, and to share information on
activities more systematically.
This amplified emphasis on taxation will undoubtedly
continue to drive change and modernisation in tax policies and
administration. The Platform's efforts to harmonise the global
tax system, therefore, should not go unnoticed.