The 2015 version of OECD’s „Taxing Energy Use“ series was published in June 2015 and reveals some weaknesses in the current system of energy taxation. Especially in the context of COP 21 in Paris the latest issue deserves further attention. The publication covers 41 countries including all OECD countries plus seven additional countries from the G20 group. In total those countries are responsible for 80% of the global energy consumption. The study describes energy use, consumption and pricing in those countries. In addition it presents an analysis of the structure and rates of energy taxes.
Already in August 2015 the GIZ programme Good Financial Governance in Africa together with AFROSAI-E released a brochure on the "SAI-PAC communication toolkit", which aims at improving the cooperation between Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and Public Accounts Committees (PACs) – two pivotal stakeholders of the Westminster System of Accountability. The brochure is divided into two thematic parts. Whereas the first part focuses on the Westminster System of Accountability and the communication toolkit itself. The second part deals with the development and the roll-out of the toolkit.
On 19 November, the World Bank Group together with PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consultancy, published their joint annual report “Paying Taxes”. Appearing in its tenth edition, the report looks at tax regimes in 189 countries and thereby focuses on corporate taxation. It offers country-by-country data on the time companies take to comply with their taxes, on the number of tax payments companies make per year as well as the total tax rate companies pay and gives a subsequent country-ranking on each of these measurs.
Yesterday, on October 5th 2015 the OECD presented plan to combat tax evasion and profit shifting. The plan is the result of the BEPS project and comprises 15 reform measures. It aims at closing loopholes in the tax systems, which are especially exploited by multinational enterprises (MNEs). Under the current international tax rules globally operating enterprises can easily shift profits from high to low tax jurisdictions through aggressive tax planning. Conservatively reckoned revenue losses due to BEPS amount up to approximately USD 100 to 240 Billion annually. This sums up to 4% to 10% of total global corporate income tax (CIT).
In August OECD has published the sixth issue of its „Tax Aministration“ series. In this publication OECD identifies fundamental elements of modern tax administration systems and uses data, analyses and examples to identify key performance trends, recent innovations, and examples of good practice. Most tax administrations face similar challenges. They are confronted with the aim of improving their performance in an increasingly complex environment while at the same time reducing adminstrative cost and decreasing compliance costs for taxpayers. This aim includes improving taxpayers services, while making life harder for non-compliant taxpayers.
The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has just recently published findings from its Open Budget Survey 2015 – an independent and comparable measure of budget transparency, participation, and oversight. It finds that the vast majority of the 102 countries surveyed lack adequate systems for ensuring accountable budgets.
The report stresses the importance of all three pillars – budget transparency, public participation, and oversight by formal government institutions – for efficient, effective, and accountable budget systems and highlights the relevance of transparent and accountable budgets for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.