Co-operation is key to combat tax evasion and abusive schemes such as CumEx

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In his role as Chair of OECD's Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), the Director General of the Norwegian Tax Administration  appeals to international tax administration leaders, underlining the importance of co-operating through established networks to combat fraud and tax evasion.

Co-operation is key to combat tax evasion and abusive schemes such as CumEx

- International cooperation is vital in combatting fraud and tax evasion. Evaders and fraudsters operate across borders and it is crucial that tax administrations share competence and experience with each other. We have a valuable network and we must use it actively, said Hans Christian Holte, Chair of the FTA (Forum on Tax Administration) and Director General of the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Improved communication
Hans Christian Holte has written to all Tax Commissioners in the FTA, saying he is confident that members already seek to share relevant information with each other on risks they identify, but tax administrations could all do more to improve the lines of communication between tax administrations and re-inforce the systems they have in place to keep each other informed on emerging tax risks.
- We have achieved enormous progress in international co-operation in tax administration, but it can be exploited further for more effective results. Recent media coverage of the CumEx-files about the scale on which the tax system in some countries has been abused has shown that international co-operation can play a decisive role in our success in stopping and preventing fraud and tax evasion. As tax administrations, we must ensure that we each have the mechanisms in place to ensure that information is shared in a timely manner, said Holte.

Intelligence network shares data on CumEx
OECDs Forum on Tax Administration has established a network specifically to simplify intelligence sharing and collaboration between tax administration in different countries, Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC). JITSIC has ongoing projects where countries actively exchange intelligence and collaborate on these type of schemes.

- JITSIC is an established platform which stands ready to swiftly share experiences, resources and knowledge. We intend to use that here. We are familiar with the challenges associated with abusive dividend transactions. It is important that we continue to share knowledge and expertise, said Holte.

The JITSIC network has a proven track record of close co-operation, including for example its work with Panama Papers and other data leaks. The network has collaborated to analyse large amounts of data, to identify and expose structures which facilitate tax avoidance and to share methods for disrupting and combating those who enable tax evasion.

- Our co-ordinated approach to sharing knowledge and information means we can quickly build a more accurate picture of the scope of fraud and tax evasion schemes, as well as insight into the methods the perpetrators employ. Overall, collaboration is more effective than what we can achieve working independently, said Holte.

Hans Christian Holte
Hans Christian Holte

What is the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA)

The Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) is a forum on tax administration for Commissioners from 51 OECD and non-OECD countries, including members of the G20. It was created in 2002 as a forum through which Commissioners can identify, discuss and influence relevant global trends and develop new ideas to enhance tax administration around the world.

The FTA aims to improve taxpayer services and tax compliance by helping tax administrations increase the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of tax administration and reduce the costs of compliance. The FTA publishes the results of its work, in the form of reports and guidance notes in order to benefit as many tax administrations as possible.
What is Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC)
The JITSIC brings together 38 of the world's national tax administrations that have committed to more effective and efficient ways to deal with tax avoidance. It offers a platform to enable its members to actively collaborate within the legal framework of effective bilateral and multilateral conventions and tax information exchange agreements – sharing their experience, resources and expertise to tackle the issues they face in common.

Open to all members of the OECD's Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), the JITSIC operates through a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in each country. It is supported by the FTA Secretariat based at the OECD.
Contact: Norwegian Tax Administration press office: +47 945 10 000
Press manager Merete Bergeland Jebsen: +47 932 56 552