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Joint Audit 2019 – Enhancing Tax Co-operation and Improving Tax Certainty

Forum on Tax Administration

image of Joint Audit 2019 – Enhancing Tax Co-operation and Improving Tax Certainty

Improved dispute prevention and dispute resolution are key concerns for both business and tax administrations by creating incentives for low-risk behaviour among taxpayers and helping tax administrations to better match resources to tax risks.

Joint Audits are an essential element in the Tax Certainty Agenda and allow tax administrations to operate efficiently and effectively in an increasingly global environment, co-operating ever more closely and frequently with each other to ensure compliance, tackle base erosion and profit shifting, and minimise the probability of costly and time-consuming disputes.

The report sets out the most advanced form of audit-related tax co-operation, provides best practices and identifies possible areas of improvement and future work, not limited to the OECD Forum on Tax Administration.

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Costs and benefits

Whenever an auditor is pursuing an audit that goes beyond a purely domestic context there is the question of whether to use international tax co-operation. The auditor may conclude that no international tax co-operation is necessary because, for instance, the taxpayer has provided all relevant information and there is no reason to believe that any of the information is either incorrect or incomplete or that the case has any other material international ramifications. There are other situations where the auditor requests particular information using information exchange instruments and can complete the audit on the basis of the information obtained. And there are situations where enhanced tax co-operation and in particular Joint Audits may be the best course of action.

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