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Rethinking Tax Services

The Changing Role of Tax Service Providers in SME Tax Compliance

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The landscape of tax services, traditionally provided by parties such as tax advisors, accountants and other tax practitioners, is changing, thanks to new technologies and services such as online accounting and filing, mobile devices, and machine-to-machine communication. This may lead to more integrated tax systems, in which taxation is part of the day-to-day operations of SMEs. This report provides an overview of relevant technological and business developments and new service solutions. It also explores how these influence SMEs, tax service providers and tax administrations – and the way that they co-operate. Tax administrations can adopt different types of network strategies for co-operating with tax service providers. The report identifies four basic network strategies. In countries without an established tax service provider infrastructure, such as developing and emerging economies, leveraging new technologies (such as online services and mobile payment) may create new possibilities for providing infrastructure that is both beneficial for SMEs and promotes tax compliance.

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Introduction

New technologies provide opportunities for both tax administrations and tax service providers (TSPs) in promoting tax compliance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These new technological options may help in reducing complexity and improving customer experience. SMEs expect more “plug and play” arrangements (such as pre-filled tax forms and easy-to-use digital services). This report looks at the changing role of (new) TSPs and how tax administrations can develop and implement strategies to co-operate with TSPs. This chapter introduces the study on which this report is based and outlines how the report is structured.

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