Minneapolis, Minnesota USA · May 23-24, 2019

2018 Conference Materials: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2018 Conference Agenda – Wednesday, May 2nd

18:30 - 20:30
Welcome Reception

International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD)
Rietlandpark 301, 1019 DW Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sponsored by Caplin & Drysdale; Washington, DC, United States

2018 Conference Agenda – Thursday, May 3rd

Day One

08:00 - 08:30
Registration

Barbizon Palace, Prins Hendrikkade 59-72, 1012 AD Amsterdam, Netherlands

08:30 - 09:00
Welcome & Introductory Remarks: The Current environment for Taxpayer Rights


Opening Remarks

09:00 - 10:30
Perspectives on Taxpayer Rights: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Good Governance and Legal Remedies

The role of taxpayer rights in influencing taxpayer compliance behavior and serving as a foundation for tax administration can be analyzed from many different perspectives, including anthropology, economics, law, and psychology. Moreover, the press and other media play a vital role in protecting taxpayer rights. Applying principles and methodologies of several disciplines (e.g., qualitative methods, surveys, and lab and field experiments, investigative reporting, legal analysis), this panel will explore the protection of taxpayer rights by good governance (by analyzing scenarios of voluntary compliance) and legal remedies (by analyzing scenarios of litigation involving taxpayers and tax authorities).


Panel #1: Perspectives on Taxpayer Rights: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Good Governance and Legal Remedies

11:00 - 12:30
Preventing Disputes 1: Developing early Warning and Intervention Systems

Effective and efficient tax administrations create systems and processes that not only identify suspicious situations that give rise to tax evasion but also potential taxpayer rights violations and address those problems at their outset, before they grow into major dilemmas. This panel will explore aspects of tax administration that pose long term challenges but could be mitigated through early intervention and action, e.g., identifying at-risk taxpayers and interventions to avoid bankruptcy; resolving issues before they come to audit (e.g., U.S. Compliance Assurance Program and cooperative compliance), and creating a tax agency culture that accepts the value of identifying situations that present significant risks not only for tax authorities but also for taxpayers (e.g., agency overreaching).


Preventing Disputes 1: Developing Early Warning and Intervention Systems

12:30 - 13:00
Current Developments in Taxpayer Rights


Current Developments In Taxpayer Rights

14:00 - 15:30
Preventing Disputes 2: Taxpayer Rights in the Administrative Phase

The conduct of administrative stages of a tax dispute, before issuance of a legally determinative notice, can influence taxpayer compliance behavior in the immediate instance and in the future. The imbalance of power, particularly with respect to low income taxpayers, can cause incorrect results or unnecessary disputes. Similarly, overly burdensome administrative procedures may lead taxpayers who have not violated the law to accept paying a proposed tax adjustment in order to avoid any waste of time or damage to reputation. This panel will explore how tax agencies can incorporate protection of taxpayer rights (including the taxpayer’s right to be heard and to have government actions be no more intrusive than necessary) into their early administrative procedures, and how agencies can bring about such cultural change.


Panel #3: Preventing Disputes 2: Taxpayer Rights in the Administrative Phase

16:00 - 17:30
Taxpayer Protections in Cross-Border Taxation

The expansion of global data exchange between tax agencies worldwide, along with coordinated global tax enforcement initiatives, has significant taxpayer rights implications. This panel will discuss cross-border issues including data protection and ensuring the confidentiality of taxpayer information; the taxpayer’s right to be informed under information exchange agreements; and taxpayer rights in the context of the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP).


Panel #4: Taxpayer Protections in Cross-Border Taxation

18:00 -
Welcome Drinks & Gala Dinner

Tropen Museum – Marble Hall
Linnaeusstraat 2, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2018 Conference Agenda – Friday, May 4th

DAY 2

08:30 - 09:00
IBFD Observatory on the Protection of Taxpayer Rights (OPTR)


IBFD Observatory on the Protection of Taxpayer Rights (OPTR)

09:00 - 10:30
Burden of Proof in Tax Disputes

Who bears the burden of proof can be the determinant in the outcome of a case, and can influence a taxpayer’s perception of the fairness of the tax system and his future compliance. In what circumstances should there be presumptions of correctness or deemed facts? When should the burden work in favor of or against the taxpayer? Should the burden shift when taxpayers have engaged in abusive transactions? How should the burden operate where the tax agency has violated
its own procedures or acted in abuse of discretion?


Panel #5: Burden of Proof in Tax Disputes

11:00 - 12:30
Penalties Theory and Administration: A Multidisciplinary Analysis

This panel builds on our first panel by analyzing the theory and administration of tax penalties, including the principle of proportionality, from the perspective of several disciplines. What types of penalties and initiatives, including nonmonetary penalties such as publication of names of evaders, are effective deterrents of noncompliance? Do automatic or strict liability penalties deter or increase noncompliance? What safeguards should be in place before a penalty is imposed or applied? With respect to what penalties should the tax agency bear the burden of proof for justifying penalty imposition? How does penalty administration affect taxpayers’ trust in the tax system?


Panel #6: Penalties Theory and Administration: A Multidisciplinary Analysis

13:30 - 15:00
The Right to Appeal to an Independent Forum: Taxpayer Access to Appeals and Mediation

Taxpayer access to administrative and judicial appeals varies across countries, although independent review of tax agency decisions is a key aspect of procedural justice. How should an administrative appellate division be designed to ensure its independence from the tax agency? Should taxpayers be required to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to accessing judicial forums? Should alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, be a precondition to litigation,
and how can ADR techniques be applied earlier in the tax administration process?


Panel #7: The Right to Appeal to an Independent Forum: Taxpayer Access to Appeals and Mediation

15:30 - 16:15
Good governance and Remedies: Taxpayer Rights in Application

This panel will identify the elements of good governance practices and legal remedies and propose a model of tax administration that makes “real” the promise of taxpayer rights. The panel will explore the role of guidance, including the exercise of discretion or rule-based administration, as well as steps a tax agency can undertake to move toward a taxpayer rights-based model.


Panel #8: Good Governance and Remedies: Taxpayer Rights in Application

16:15 - 17:00
A Conversation with the Advocate General

An introduction to the Court of Justice of the European Union, and how the Court has contributed to the development of taxpayer rights protections under EU law. Prof. Dr. Juliane Kokott, LL. M., S.J.D., Advocate General • Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg