National Experts Advise ECOSOC on Tax Cooperation
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During a special meeting on international cooperation on tax matters with representatives of national tax authorities, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) considered its contribution to mobilizing domestic financial resources for development and the institutional arrangements to promote such cooperation.

Participants discussed a report by the inter-agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax to the G20 Finance Ministers, titled 'Enhancing the Effectiveness of External Support in Building Tax Capacity in Developing Countries'.

9 December 2016: During a special meeting on international cooperation on tax matters, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and representatives of national tax authorities considered ECOSOC’s contributions to mobilizing domestic financial resources for development, as well as the institutional arrangements to promote cooperation on the issue.

The meeting took place on 9 December 2016, in New York, US, immediately following the 13th session of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, held from 5-8 December, also in New York. The special meeting served to facilitate dialogue between the Committee and the Council, and provide input to intergovernmental consideration of tax issues at the UN.

The one-day event included three interactive dialogues featuring presentations by members of the Committee of Experts, which addressed: base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) issues for developing countries; tax avoidance schemes used by multinational enterprises; transfer pricing; exchange of information; challenges related to broadening the tax base of developing countries; and instruments for building capacity.

Participants in the meeting also discussed a report by the inter-agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax to the G20 Finance Ministers titled, ‘Enhancing the Effectiveness of External Support in Building Tax Capacity in Developing Countries.’ The report emphasizes the need for a supportive political and social reform environment at the national level, and for ensuring that all relevant stakeholders support such country-led reform.

Speakers argued that taxation is not a “silver bullet” that fills financing gaps for all development needs.

During the general discussion, speakers stressed the role of taxation in poverty eradication and in addressing inequality, which are key for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but argued that taxation is not a “silver bullet” that fills financing gaps for all development needs. Some supported the proposal of the Group of the 77 and China (G-77/ China) to establish an intergovernmental UN tax body.

Closing the meeting, ECOSOC President Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava announced that a global conference will take place in February 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, on the role of taxation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He underlined the importance of continued cooperation between ECOSOC and the Committee of Experts in enhancing intergovernmental consideration of tax issues.

On 9 December, ECOSOC adopted a decision (E/2017/L.10) indicating that: the 14th session of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters will be held in New York from 3-6 April 2017; and the one-day special meeting of the Council on international cooperation in tax matters will be held in New York on 7 April 2017. [Dates of the fourteenth session of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters and special meeting of the Council on international cooperation in tax matters in 2017] [UN Summary of Special Meeting] [IISD Sources]


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