During the 4th NTO Council Meeting held in Paris in January 2020, tax and crime was identified as the central topic for the 1st NTO Technical Conference. Under the theme of “Building stronger partnerships to fight tax crime” the 1st NTO Technical Conference will bring together policymakers and practitioners from over 170 revenue administrations to discuss challenges, strategies and solutions of widening collaborations to tackle tax crime.
NTO Tax and Crime Webinar Series
In order to broaden the discussions on IFFs, NTO members decided to organise a series of webinars, leading up to the 1st NTO Conference on “Building stronger partnerships to fight tax crime” in October 2021. The webinars provide a space for sharing experiences on best practices among an international audience of tax administrations.
1st Webinar: “ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS: THE IMPACT ON TAX ADMINISTRATION ACTIVITIES AND BEST PRACTICES”
Illicit financial flows (IFFs) are known to have a negative effect on political and economic interests of countries, as they undermine the sustainability of public finances and cause wider threats to national security. To address this issue, revenue authorities have a key role to play in identifying and reporting suspected tax and other financial crimes, but they also face significant barriers. In this context, collaboration between revenue administrations has become a central piece in tackling the problem by enabling to maximise reporting and information sharing.
The first webinar of the “Tax & Crime” series took place on 14 October 2020. NTO members, guest speakers from the Kenyan and Finnish revenue authorities and participants discussed the impact of IFFs on tax administration activities, strategies and preventive measures against tax evasion and financial crimes. The webinar aimed to gather input from revenue administrations on the impact of IFFs and gaps remaining in the policy and institutional efforts to fight IFFs, allowing NTO members to identify how further national and international cooperation could help to tackle IFFs more effectively.
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2nd Webinar: EFFECTIVE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
While tax administrations play a key role in identifying and reporting suspected tax and other related financial crimes, significant barriers to the effectiveness of their actions remain. In particular, the lack of access to strategic information and clear communication channels between different national and international authorities present major obstacles. By exploiting countries’ legal and institutional weaknesses, and taking advantage of technological developments, criminals can covertly move substantial sums between multiple jurisdictions, allowing criminal activities and IFFs to become increasingly sophisticated. In this context, the collaboration between revenue administrations and effective exchange of information is crucial to identify unusual transactions and common gaps, as well as to exchange legal instruments and best practices to tackle these.
The second webinar of the “Tax & Crime” series took place on 4 February 2021. Guest speakers from the Iranian and Brazilian revenue authorities together with over 100 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. The webinar helped to better understand how identified challenges can be overcome and consider the scope for regional and international tax organisations to contribute to this endeavour.
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The topic of the third webinar of the “Tax & Crime” series is still to be confirmed. More information will be forthcoming. In case of questions, please contact email@example.com.