Developing countries have collected almost $500m in additional revenues as a result of an international programme to tackle multinationals’ tax compliance, the OECD reports.
According to Accountancy Daily, the OECD’s tax inspectors without borders (TIWB) programme, launched jointly with the UN development programme (UNDP) in July 2015, is designed to improve the ability of developing countries to tax multinationals and boost domestic revenue collection.
According to the latest annual report, since inception the programme has seen the collection of $480m in additional tax revenue. TIWB also says several jurisdictions report significant assessments raised through TIWB support, which are at various stages of dispute resolution and will likely result in substantial tax yield in 2019/20.
With programmes across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the TIWB initiative now covers 98 completed, ongoing and upcoming programmes in 55 countries and jurisdictions, and is on track to meet a target of 100 deployments by 2020.
OECD secretary-general, Angel Gurría said: ‘The concept of TIWB is simple: expert tax auditors are sent to help interested tax administrations in developing countries, where they work side-by-side with local auditors to strengthen their capacity.
‘Tax officials around the globe are gaining the knowledge they need to identify when their big taxpayers are not paying the correct amount, as well as the confidence and skills to engage with them to ensure correct taxes are collected. TIWB is filling an important skills gap, helping address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and abusive tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.’
The TIWB annual report shows that every dollar invested in TIWB programmes has led to $100 in additional revenue. Sixteen countries have so far deployed their serving tax officials to provide hands-on, learning-by-doing assistance to auditors in developing countries.
Among the partner administrations are those engaged in South-South co-operation – India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. TIWB programmes are also supported by a UNDP roster of over 50 experts.
The OECD says the success of the current TIWB model has spurred interest in expanding the initiative to other areas including tax crime investigations, joint audits, automatic exchange of information, tax treaty negotiations and dispute resolution. Pilot programmes are already underway in some of these areas.