TAX INSPECTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
In August 2012, the OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development began a feasibility study to explore the “Tax Inspectors Without Borders” (TIWB) project.
TIWB aims to enable the effective deployment of tax audit specialists (experts) on a demand led-basis to developing countries. The sharing of expertise and experience would generally focus on the transfer of knowledge relating to international tax issues like transfer pricing, as well as the development of general audit skills.TIWB was born from an increased awareness both within and outside the Task Force on Tax and Development of the pressing need to provide technical assistance through a learning-by-doing model in the course of real audit cases. This would build on the theoretical foundations established by audit skills workshops and training.
The feasibility study will assess how TIWB can provide an effective mechanism to enable practical, peer-to-peer assistance, through matching demands from developing countries for long and short term auditing inputs with appropriate expertise drawn from a pool of currently serving or recently retired tax inspectors/auditors.
The study will draw from the knowledge and experience of the Task Force’s members, which includes developed and developing country tax administrations, donor agencies and international and regional bodies involved in the tax and development fields. For instance, on a bilateral and ad hoc basis, there are already some examples of this type of assistance being provided, and the feasibility study will look at how to support and broaden such programs. Both business and civil society groups are also key members of the Task Force, and their input and support for this initiative is central to its development.
A meeting of key stakeholders was held in Paris on 12-13 December 2012. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the early findings of the feasibility study, as well as stakeholders’ experiences and perspectives on sharing audit expertise, and some of the key implementation challenges posed by the TIWB proposal.
Building on those discussions, the next phase of the feasibility study has involved further research and stakeholder consultation focused on looked more in depth at clearly defining the scope of assistance falling within the TIWB concept, outlining possible solutions to address some of the key technical issues, and exploring options for the project’s structural framework. A final report on the feasibility study will be considered by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in mid-2013.
Some further details on the background and scope of the feasibility study into the TIWB project can be found in this note and in the TIWB "Q&A".
Please address any questions with respect to the TIWB initiative to Caroline Malcolm in the Secretariat of the OECD’s Tax and Development Programme: firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 45 24 17 35.