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Tax Administration 2017

Comparative Information on OECD and Other Advanced and Emerging Economies

image of Tax Administration 2017

This report is the seventh edition of the OECD's Tax Administration Comparative Information Series. It provides internationally comparative data on important aspects of tax systems and their administration in 55 advanced and emerging economies. The format and approach for the 2017 edition of the publication has been revised. The commentary is now more succinct, focusing on significant tax administration issues and trends. It provides increased analysis, backed by more than 170 data tables and complemented by more than one-hundred examples of innovation and practice in tax administrations. It also features eight articles authored by officials working in participating tax administrations that provide an “inside view” on a range of topical issues tax administrations are managing. The report has three parts. The first contains seven chapters that examine and comment on tax administration performance and trends up to the end of the 2015 fiscal year. The second part presents the eight tax administration authored articles, while part three of the publication contains all the data tables which form the basis of the analysis in this report as well as details of the administrations that participated in this publication.

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The measurement of tax gaps

A key objective of all tax administrations, whether explicit or implicit, is to improve tax compliance and minimise the tax compliance gap. An increasing number of OECD countries are estimating tax gaps and publishing their findings, particularly for value added tax (VAT). Estimation of tax gaps over time, as well as one off, or partial tax gap analysis, can provide valuable insight to inform policy and compliance strategies and help revenue authorities to understand the scale of noncompliance and emerging risks. While the tax gap has intuitive attraction for both the public and political representatives, it is a difficult concept to define precisely. Estimation is also difficult as much of the tax gap is either deliberately concealed from view and/or data may be difficult to find. The measurement and publishing of tax gaps should therefore be navigated and communicated carefully. Limitations of tax gap estimates mean they are not a good basis for explicit performance targets. This chapter sets out some issues to consider in tax gap measurement.

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