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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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SME tax services

a changing landscape

The tax services landscape for SMEs is changing. New TSP services are arising that support tax compliance, provide high quality tax solutions, and drive down costs for SMEs. Tax administrations adopting new strategies that focus on upstream interventions and more co-operative approaches also promote these objectives. Key drivers behind these changes are new technological developments. These developments impact the way SMEs operate, lead to service innovation by TSPs and can reshape tax administration’s compliance strategies. This holds great opportunities as it can create better service for SMEs, improve SME tax compliance and may drive down costs for SMEs, tax administrations and TSPs. This chapter describes the changing SME tax service landscape, in particular the impact of new technologies and the related need to switch to a service perspective on SME tax compliance.

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