Inter-agency cooperation is one of the keystones to build transparent and efficient tax systems. During the second webinar of the Network of Tax Organisations (NTO) “Tax & Crime” series, guest speakers from the Iranian and Brazilian revenue authorities together with participants from 70 different tax administrations worldwide discussed objectives and bottlenecks addressed by revenue authorities to promote better cooperation between national and international agencies as well as timely and effective responses in the fight against tax crimes. Stefano Gesuelli, Head of the Italian Mission and Director for planning at Inter-American centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT), emphasized that “Interinstitutional cooperation remains a major concern to build coherent tax and crime response systems today, as well as to face the new challenges after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr. Alizera Khanjan, Deputy Director-General of Legal Affairs & Tax Treaties at the Iranian National Administration (INTA), presented the Iranian experience on the exchange of information and inter-agency cooperation. “Iranian Taxation and Finance authorities are moving forward by promoting a broader information base which enables greater inter-agency cooperation”. Thanks to the major tax reforms and the implementation of new amendments to the Iranian Direct Taxation Act, Iran has experienced a significant decrease in financial criminal activity cases. Substantial progress has been made in terms of the criminalization of tax offenses and the exchange of information at the national and international levels. “Sharing information is our common interest. This is a turning point in the history of taxation in Iran; INTA is going to turn into a modern, smart tax administration.”
Ms. Patricia Tavares de Lima, Tax Investigator and Head of the Research and Investigation Office in the City of Vitoria of the Brazilian Federal Revenue Office (RFB), shared the Brazilian perspective on inter-agency cooperation and focused on the main bottlenecks regarding the exchange of information and cooperation between agencies in the regional context. “Fiscal crimes and the bottlenecks stem from lack of internal communication and information flows, unclear legislation, information protected by fiscal secrecy, and inadequate human resources”. While tax administrations play a key role in identifying and reporting suspected tax-related financial crimes, significant barriers to the effectiveness of their actions remain. “The participation of revenue administration to the task force operations on search warrants related to criminal activity is essential to overcome bottlenecks. The Brazilian experience has shed light on how collaborative surveillance and exchange of information by the investigation administrations could lead to immediate results.”
Promoting open dialogue and peer-to-peer learning between revenue authorities is indispensable to foster a better understanding and awareness of the challenges identified and to overcome them. Thus, the second webinar of the NTO “Tax & Crime” series on “Exchange of Information and Inter-Agency Cooperation in Combating Tax Crimes” feeds into the theme of the 1st NTO Technical Conference on Tax & Crime in Rome in October 2021. The NTO Secretariat thanks all the speakers and guests for their contribution and invites everyone to continue participating in the preparatory discussions for the 1st NTO Technical Conference on Tax & Crime. The next webinar is expected to take place later in Spring 2021.