Together for Better Outcomes

Together for Better Outcomes

Engaging and Involving SME Taxpayers and Stakeholders You do not have access to this content

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Auteur(s):
OCDE
Date de publication :
01 août 2013
Pages :
92
ISBN :
9789264200838 (PDF) ; 9789264096516 (imprimé)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264200838-en

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Revenue bodies are increasingly focusing on improving their understanding of taxpayers and taking advantage of opportunities for collaboration where win-win situations exists. This is not least true for the large and heterogeneous SME segment, which in many countries has proven difficult and costly to administer with traditional approaches.

This Forum on Tax Administration study provides inspiration and guidance to revenue bodies wishing to explore the potential for improving outcomes, reducing costs, improving services and generating other benefits by engaging and involving SME taxpayers and stakeholders. The study provides a conceptual framework illustrating the benefits and situating the approach in the context of public sector reform, technological developments and trends in compliance risk management. It further provides a comprehensive review of current and emerging practices across the areas of information and guidance, compliance risk management, and systemic solutions. Finally the study provides guidance to support successful implementation.

The study finds that while revenue bodies have substantial experience to build on, there is also potential for more systematic, far-reaching and potentially transformative approaches. A key barrier in this regard is that performance metrics relying extensively on output measures channel resources and attention away from innovative approaches that work back from the desired ultimate outcomes.

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    Foreword

    Revenue bodies are increasingly focused on better understanding taxpayers and taking advantage of opportunities for engaging and involving taxpayers and stakeholders where mutual or compatible interest exists. This is not least true for the large and heterogeneous SME segment, which in many countries has proven difficult and costly to administer with traditional approaches relying on enforcement and retrospective audits.

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    Abbreviations and acronyms
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    Preface

    "Working Smarter" are the watchwords of modern public administration. Revenue bodies are no exception and are rightly expected to be constantly looking for opportunities to improve the way they operate and reduce costs to the public purse.

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    Executive summary

    For many years revenue bodies have been under pressure to reduce their costs of operation, while sustaining or improving revenue collection and improving the quality of customer service for taxpayers. Internally focused efforts to improve the use of technology in revenue bodies and simplify and streamline processes have achieved a lot but, on their own, are not capable of addressing the scale of the challenge revenue bodies face, particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis. In common with many other parts of the public sector, revenue bodies are increasingly looking outside their own organisations to use the knowledge and resources of taxpayers and other stakeholders to explore win-win situations and achieve better delivery of desired outcomes.

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    Introduction

    Engaging and involving taxpayers and stakeholders offers the opportunity to mobilise knowledge and resources residing outside the revenue body. This can contribute significantly to improved outcomes, cost reductions and a range of other benefits. It can also enhance the legitimacy of the tax system and trust in the revenue body, which are crucial for voluntary compliance.
    This chapter discusses the rationale of this exploratory study and sets out study objectives and content. The chapter further illustrates the methodology adopted, including details on data collection and contributing revenue bodies.

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    The Engaging and Involving concept and its implications for tax administration

    Engaging and involving citizens in the production of public services has emerged as a major trend across the public sector in many countries. The approach offers substantial benefits to governments, citizens and society as a whole, as (among other benefits) it can mobilise unused resources, contribute to better solutions and outcomes, and enhance legitimacy, trust and democratic governance.
    This chapter, drawing on work by the OECD and academic literature, offers an introduction to these developments and their relevance to tax administration. The chapter relates the Engaging and Involving (E and I) concept to existing models of public participation and emerging practices of co-production. It further situates this change in perspective in the context of broader developments, notably the changing role of the public sector and the impact of new technologies. Finally the chapter lifts the perspective to elaborate on the implications for tax administrations and the management of SME compliance, including the many internal and external benefits.

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    Current and emerging practices

    Revenue bodies engage and involve taxpayers and stakeholders in many ways. This is not least true for the SME segment where engaging and involving taxpayers and stakeholders has emerged as an important source of knowledge and leverage – contributing significantly to improved compliance outcomes, better services, and enhanced legitimacy and trust.
    This chapter, drawing on survey responses and examples provided by revenue bodies, provides a comprehensive stock take of current and emerging practices. It starts with high-level commitment and frameworks before proceeding to go over formal consultation mechanisms and then practices in the key areas of information and guidance, compliance risk management, and systemic solutions. Particular attention is paid to systematic and innovative approaches, as well as approaches where benefits have been documented or a plausible business case has been developed.
    The chapter concludes with reflections on the overall picture emerging, including a synthesis of stakeholders involved and leverage strategies applied, which may have value as a diagnostic tool and a source of inspiration.

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    Tools and guidance for successful implementation

    The preceding chapter has established that revenue bodies have substantial experience with Engaging and Involving (EandI) approaches. At the same time it is clear that EandI approaches are increasingly being applied in more systematic, far-reaching, and potentially transformative ways.
    This chapter, recognising EandI as a distinct discipline that comes with its own risks and challenges, provides tools and guidance to assist revenue bodies wishing to tap into this potential. The chapter starts by introducing key implementation issues identified through the survey, the workshop and the literature review. The three main themes are then explored in separate sections on capabilities and change management, governance issues, and the challenge of documenting benefits. The chapter concludes with a list summarising key advice emerging out of the chapter.

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    Findings and recommendations

    Engaging and involving taxpayers and stakeholders offer the opportunity to mobilise knowledge and resources residing outside the revenue body. This can contribute significantly to improved outcomes, cost reductions and a range of other benefits. It can also enhance the legitimacy of the tax system and trust in the revenue body, which are crucial factors for voluntary compliance.
    The preceding chapters have provided an introduction to the Engaging and Involving (EandI) concept, a stock take of current and emerging practices, and guidance for successful implementation. This chapter will bring out key findings from previous chapters and set out recommendations to assist revenue bodies make further progress.

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      Survey form
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      Additional resources
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      Main enablers and barriers identified
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