10/05/2012 – The OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development, meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, has launched the concept of Tax Inspectors Without Borders/ Inspecteurs des impôts sans frontières – a new initiative to help developing countries bolster their domestic revenues by making their tax systems fairer and more effective. Building on that concept, the OECD will establish an independent foundation, to be up and running by the end of 2013, that will provide international auditing expertise and advice to help developing countries better address tax base erosion, including tax evasion and avoidance. The initiative was championed by Oupa Magashula, Commissioner General of the South Africa Revenue Service, Nhlanhla Nene, South Africa’s Deputy Finance Minister and Pascal Saint-Amans, Director the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration.
The stakeholders from business, civil society, as well as OECD and developing country governments attending the Tax and Development Task Force unanimously welcomed the initiative which fills a gap in the existing provision of audit assistance. They agreed to work together to launch a sustainably financed independent organisation to host a Tax Inspectors Without Borders secretariat by the end of next year. This initiative complements several efforts by donor agencies, notably USAID, to mobilise expertise.
“Countries helping each other is the only way to effectively fight global tax evasion and avoidance.”, said OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría. “The idea is quite simple. Tax Inspectors Without Borders will match ‘demand’ from developing countries wanting outside help with complex international tax audits with the ‘supply’, of international experts, drawn mainly from cadres of tax inspectors serving in other tax administrations. Joint teams will operate under the local leadership in each country, based on a learning by doing approach”.
Oupa Magashula added that, “The Tax and Development Task Force should now mobilise the best experts and make them available to developing countries and get the Tax Inspectors Without Borders secretariat in place so the work can begin in earnest from 2013”.
This article was published by OECD and can be accessed here.