The OECD Global Relations Division in cooperation with IOTA Secretariat organised a joint workshop on ‘The Changing Landscape of Tax Service Providers’ in OECD Multilateral Training Centre in Budapest, Hungary on 2-5 February 2016.
This joint event was built on the work of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration (OECD/FTA) in the field of compliance (reports on ‘Cooperative Compliance’ and ‘Tax Compliance by Design’) and continued the collaborative efforts of OECD and IOTA supporting member tax administrations with the development of strategies of enhanced involvement of tax intermediaries in improving tax compliance processes (joint IOTA-OECD workshop "Engaging and Involving SMEs and their Intermediaries in Tax Administration Processes", held in Budapest, 5-7 February 2014). The changing business environment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), such as the development towards more digital service models, and the changing compliance strategies of tax administrations, with a focus on ‘upfront’ approaches, lead to a changing landscape for tax service providers. The workshop brought together 23 tax officials from 13 countries dealing with tax treatment of SMEs as well as with tax intermediaries (tax advisors, tax preparers and other tax service providers) to explore the business developments in the domain of SME’s and tax service providers and to share experiences in developing strategies to make cooperation with tax service providers a part of broader SME compliance approach.
The delegates showed strong interest in improving regulatory framework and developing new principles, standards and norms for cooperation with tax service. Recognising the way digitalisation and globalisation transform business operations of SMEs, but also give rise to new services (e.g. online accounting and mobile services) offered by tax service providers, participants of the workshop were supportive to adopting compliance by design approaches (e.g. securing the chain approach, centralised data approach) and building compliance upfront instead of addressing non-compliance. The necessity to understand and influence compliance of SMEs by making it easy to comply (simplifications, clear messages and increased support, e-filing, pre-filled tax returns, etc.) was stressed by participants. Country delegates also considered different strategic scenarios (controlled network, hybrid open network, hybrid closed network and adaptive network) for influencing tax compliance environment of SMEs through cooperation with tax service providers and other stakeholders.
A part of the event was devoted to country presentations and case studies allowing participants to discuss their SME and tax service provider approaches and exchange their experiences and issues about improvement.
The workshop was designed on the outcomes so far from an ongoing OECD/FTA project on this topic. The outcomes of this joint OECD-IOTA workshop were beneficial not only to the participating tax administrations, but also contributed to this project and the report that is planned to be published by OECD in May 2016.
Further information about the workshop including presentations is available here: http://www.iota-tax.org/event/changing-landscape-tax-service-providers-instruments-strengthen-tax-compliance