Taxpayers need international rights

The European Financial Forum says that proposals to extend the volume of information exchanged between tax authorities around the world mean a more systematic approach to taxpayers’ rights is required.

In short the forum says an international agreement enshrining the basic ‘rights’ or principles of tax payers should be established by the United Nations.

The forum insists that protections that should be given against ‘restrospective tax laws, disproportionality, unfair procedures and breach of confidentiality’.’Taxpayers should be given an explicit right to arrange their affairs in such a way as lawfully to minimise the burden of tax,’ according to the report.

The OECD has been urging an increase in the exchange of information on taxpayers between countries in its bid to deal with harmful tax practices and money laundering, but the forum believes this should not happen until basic rights have been agreed.

The forum’s report says: ‘New proposals to extend massively the exchange of information between tax authorities around the world require a more systematic protection of taxpayers’ rights. Protection is not uniform from country to country and is in some respects quite haphazard.’

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