From the OECD: Through its innovative approach to audit assistance, Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) has strengthened significantly developing countries’ ability to effectively tax multinational enterprises.
TIWB is a joint OECD/UNDP initiative that deploys qualified experts in developing countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to help build tax capacity in the areas of audit, criminal tax investigations and the effective use of automatically exchanged information. TIWB assistance has led to increased domestic resource mobilisation in some of the least developed countries in the world.
During the fifth virtual TIWB Governing Board meeting on 27 April 2021, co-chaired by the OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría, and UNDP’s Administrator, Mr. Achim Steiner, participants celebrated the mobilisation of more than USD 1 billion in additional tax revenues for developing countries, with nearly three times that amount in total tax assessments. The meeting highlighted TIWB’s success and commended the ability of the joint OECD and UNDP teams to maintain operations despite COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
The TIWB initiative now counts 42 completed and 45 ongoing programmes worldwide. Demand remains strong for TIWB audit assistance, in addition to pilot programmes focused on criminal tax investigations and the effective use of automatically exchanged financial account information.
Mr. Gurría highlighted the fiscal impact generated through TIWB support: “With our partners, we have exceeded the USD 1 billion milestone, making a direct contribution to the domestic resource mobilisation needs of some of the poorest countries in the world,” he said. “It has been an honour to champion the TIWB model of development co-operation for the 21st century.”
Mr. Steiner remarked that “in this challenging moment in time, recreating a robust fiscal space and ensuring public debt sustainability are both vital to build forward better and ensure progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Tax Inspectors Without Borders has a unique and important role to play in strengthening countries’ domestic resource mobilisation.” He also congratulated the TIWB Secretariat for the excellent results it has achieved in the last one year.
Former Board member H.E. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, recently appointed WTO Director-General, commented that “Billions of dollars of tax due still remain outside the reach of most developing countries tax administrations. The TIWB initiative must continue to play its role as a catalyst to encourage businesses to uphold higher standards of responsible tax behaviour and avoid the reputational risks associated with aggressive tax planning.”