Countries must step up work to ensure that tax authorities and anti-corruption authorities can effectively co-operate in the fight against tax evasion, bribery, and other forms of corruption, according to the just-released joint OECD/World Bank report, ‘Improving Co-operation between Tax Authorities and Anti-Corruption Authorities in Combating Tax Crime and Corruption’.

About the report

Countries around the globe are facing a common threat posed by increasingly complex and innovative forms of financial crime. While viewed as distinct crimes, tax crime and corruption are intrinsically linked, as criminals fail to report income derived from corrupt activities for tax purposes or over-report in an attempt to launder the proceeds of corruption. More broadly, where corruption is prevalent in society, this can foster tax evasion. Consequently, tax authorities and anti-corruption authorities can be key allies in the fight against financial crime and must work in tandem to effectively prevent, detect, and enforce these crimes.

Drawing on the experiences of 67 countries, the study focuses on the legal, strategic, operational, and cultural aspects of co-operation between tax authorities and anti-corruption authorities. With annual revenue losses from tax evasion and corruption estimated to be in the billions, it is critical that government agencies are able to join forces to deter, detect, and prosecute these crimes. The report calls on countries to enhance co-operation by:

  • Making available the broadest range of legal gateways for reporting and information sharing permitted by law;
  • Implementing streamlined and efficient operational procedures to ensure that reporting and information sharing is effective in practice;
  • Utilising enhanced co-operation mechanisms such as joint operations and taskforces;
  • Promoting a culture of co-operation at all levels of an organisation, starting with political leaders and agency heads.

Launched on 22 October during the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Copenhagen, the report seeks to enable countries to review and evaluate their own approaches for co-operation and identify opportunities for improvements based on practices that have proved successful elsewhere. The report will also support the OECD and World Bank’s ongoing capacity building work and further the OECD’s Oslo Dialogue – which promotes a whole-of-government approach to tackling financial crimes by fostering inter-agency and international co-operation.

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(Source: Media release | Read the report)

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