Tax administration heads from more than 30 countries have agreed to work together on ways to improve tax administration and address the growing problem of international non-compliance with national tax requirements.

The administrators meet in Seoul this month for the third meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Forum on Tax Administration .

Closing out the meeting, forum chair and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson said that enforcement of tax laws has become more difficult as trade and capital liberalization and advances in technologies have opened the global marketplace to a wider spectrum of taxpayers. Participants also shared concerns about corporate governance, and the role of tax advisors and financial institutions in relation to setting up improper tax shelters.

The administrators also discussed the increased flows of capital into private equity funds and potential issues that may arise for revenue bodies. Four areas the group targeted for future work included:

  • The development of a directory of aggressive tax planning schemes to better identify trends and measures to counter the schemes;
  • Examine the role of tax intermediaries in relation to non-compliance and the promotion of unacceptable tax minimization arrangements, with a goal of completing a study by the end of 2007;
  • Expand the OECD 2004 Corporate Governance Guidelines to give greater attention to the linkage between tax and good governance; and,
  • Improve the training of tax officials on international tax issues.

The so-called Seoul Declaration is available at www.oecd.org/dataoecd/38/29/37415572.pdf.

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