The ‘Last Mile’ Seminars – The Global Forum kicks off sensitization programs for tax auditors

 

With the growing impetus all over the globe for fighting tax evasion, the Global Forum took another step towards spreading the message of tax transparency. Ever since it’s restructuring in 2009, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has been at forefront of implementing tax transparency through its peer review process. With its work over the past four years resulting in more than 2000 exchange of information (EOI) relationships, and setting up of an extensive infrastructure of EOI including new laws and investment of resources by members,  the Global Forum now seeks to reach out to tax auditors in member countries to put this infrastructure to effective use. As a beginning, a 3-day seminar was organised in India jointly by the Income tax Department, Government of India and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information from 31 July-2 August at the National Academy of Direct Taxes in Nagpur, India.  The focus of the seminar was what may be called ‘The Last Mile’ which is the connection between the domestic tax officers, their Competent Authorities and the international infrastructure for exchange of information. The aim of this pilot seminar was to introduce tax auditors to the EOI infrastructure and framework that has been developed over the last few years and to demonstrate how the use of an EOI network can facilitate investigation of cross-border transactions for effective protection of domestic tax revenue. The seminar was designed to equip the participants to replicate the training in their respective regional field formations to ensure that the message of effective use of the EOI percolates down to all levels of the chain to the actual user of the information.

 Global Forum Regional Seminar organised in Nagpur, India from 31 July to 2 August 2013

National Academy of Direct Taxes, Seminar on Exchange of Information

31 July - 2 August 2013

Nagpur, India

 

The seminar saw active participation by about 35 senior tax auditors and investigators and also by trainers from India’s Regional Training Institutes. While inaugurating the seminar, the Chairperson, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Mrs. Sudha Sharma (the head of the Indian tax administration) spoke of the need of tax auditors to be aware of the EOI infrastructure that is at their disposal to detect undisclosed financial assets in overseas locations and noted the timeliness of this seminar to provide the tax auditors with the necessary tools in their efforts. Over the next few months, India proposes to conduct several local training and sensitization events with the help of the trained officers. 

 

This seminar was the first in a series of training seminars for tax officers that the Global Forum Secretariat is planning in collaboration with GF member countries. The next such seminar is scheduled to be held in collaboration with the ADB in Manila, Philippines from 10to 12 September, which will see attendance from the tax officials in Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region.