DEBATE 2017

TAX TRANSPARENCY : AN EFFECTIVE SOLUTION?

Debaters

Dominic Belley
Tax litigator and chief of the tax practice group in Canada at Norton Rose Fulbright S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.

Michael Lennard
Chief of the International Tax Cooperation Section in the Financing for Development Office of the UN.

Judges

Jay K. Rosengard
Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, has forty years of international experience designing, implementing, and evaluating development policies in public finance and fiscal strategy, tax and budget reform, municipal finance and management, intergovernmental fiscal relations, banking and financial institutions development, financial inclusion, micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) finance, mobile banking, and public administration.

Louise Otis
President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She is also President of the Appeal Court at the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF). She is a member of the Administrative Tribunal of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

Manuel Montes
Senior Advisor on Finance and Development at the South Centre in Geneva.

TaxCOOP2017 Debate: The debate brings two tax heavyweights, to discuss tax transparency allowing each debater to address the expectations and benefits of tax transparency measures as well as the obstacles, costs or shortcomings of these requirements. Following the debate, moderated by judges, attendees’ opinion will be polled.

First, be it resolved that:

tax transparency requirements are essential to increase governmental capabilities to control compliance and to enhance their understanding of businesses, particularly multinationals.

Second, be it resolved that:

the benefits of tax transparency towards tax authorities justify the increased cost of compliance and risks for taxpayers, and (b) lack of sufficient transparency from governments does not justify lack of sufficient transparency by taxpayers.

Third, be it resolved that:

tax transparency could provide useful information to the public in order to hold corporations socially responsible with regard to their tax obligations.

Fourth, be it resolved that:

 Access to information by tax authorities does not hinder the protection of confidential information nor does it undercut the work of professionals (accountants or lawyers for example).