– We have compared the four Nordic countries Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, and studied how to accomplish better co-operation between tax authorities and large corporate taxpayers when it comes to securing tax compliance, says Benedicte Brøgger, professor at BI Norwegian Business School.
– That means we have looked into how to accomplish real-time predictability and clarity concerning taxation, rather than addressing the issue afterwards. For both parties it is better that it is done right the first time, explains Brøgger.
On 7 November she and seven other contributors presented the findings of the project called FairTax. It is a cross-disciplinary four-year research project, aiming to produce recommendations on how fair and sustainable taxation and social policy reforms can reduce inequality and increase the fiscal stability of EU.
The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme funds the FairTax project.
Co-operations is key
BI Norwegian Business School lecturer and lawyer Kiran Aziz, who has also worked on the project, explains that the purpose of the seminar is to gather stakeholders in a discussion of the future of cooperative compliance.
The Nordic countries have all implemented co-operative tax compliance programmes inspired by the standards by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Nevertheless, the outcomes were very different.
Their findings show that many hindrances in the taxation occur in relation to external factors, for instance a lack of knowledge and trust, a complicated system, or the absence of communication. Hence, the seminar gathered both national tax authorities, large corporations, EU, OECD and other interested parties.
Both Aziz and Brøgger emphasize the need to gather experience and knowledge.
– The landscape for taxation is changing due to change of business models and the complexity is increasing. We need to open more platforms where we can co-operate, and find common grounds to figure out how to find better solutions for sustainable tax systems in the future, says Aziz.