OECD – COMPILATION OF COMMENTS. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE DISCUSSION DRAFT ON WHAT IS DRIVING TAX MORALE?
OECD – COMPILATION OF COMMENTS. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE DISCUSSION DRAFT ON WHAT IS DRIVING TAX MORALE? These comments have been prepared by the BEPS Monitoring Group (BMG). The BMG is a network of experts on various aspects of international tax, set up by a number of civil society organizations which research and campaign for tax justice including the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Red de Justicia Fiscal de America Latina y el Caribe, Tax Justice Network, Christian Aid, Action Aid, Oxfam, and Tax Research UK. These comments have not been approved in advance by these organizations, which do not necessarily accept every detail or specific point made here, but they support the work of the BMG and endorse its general perspectives. They have been drafted by Sol Picciotto, with contributions from Jeffery Kadet, Tovony Randriamanalina and Attiya Waris. We appreciate the opportunity to provide these comments and are happy for them to be published. Introduction. This discussion draft (the DD) updates previous OECD research of 2013 on tax morale in individuals and, additionally presents a new business section, using data from a survey of multinational enterprises (MNEs) conducted in 2016 to discuss business tax morale in developing countries. Our concern is international corporate taxation especially in relation to developing countries. In our view, the inclusion of the data from the 2016 survey of business into the work on tax morale of individuals is unhelpful and makes the draft report incoherent. In addition, there are surprising omissions from the report, particularly the lack of any discussion of the attitudes to tax of key groups such as wealthy people and tax advisers. Our comments will focus mainly on the second chapter on business, and especially its policy recommendations. More generally, however, it is of key importance in our view to understand that the motivation to pay tax is not ‘intrinsic’, at least in the sense of some kind of innate motivation of individuals. Tax is at the heart of the social contract or solidarity of citizens of a state, and there is plenty of evidence that its legitimacy, and hence the willingness of citizens to pay it, rests on notions of tax fairness. We are surprised that these issues are largely ignored in this DD, and will comment further on them below. 15 MAY 2019.