The Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Capacity Enhancement Group (BRITACEG) is planning courses on tax dispute resolution, digitalization of tax administration, taxpayer service, and VAT reform. The Secretariat is planning to design these courses in three tiers for tax officials with different seniority and backgrounds. The elementary level, presented via online programs, is best suited for tax officials with rudimentary experience; the intermediate level fits officials who are moderately experienced in the field and is delivered in the form of online lectures and case studies; and the advanced level is for veterans and is taught on-site with lectures, seminars and group discussions. Since October 2021, the elementary level courses on tax dispute resolution and digitalization of tax administration have been opened to all BRITACOM parties, and the elementary level courses on the other two topics will be available online by the end of this December.
The virtual seminars on Resolution of Tax Disputes and Digital Transformation of Tax Administrations were held on 15 October 2021 and 16 December 2021 respectively. Representatives from the BRITACOM council member tax administrations, observers, members of the advisory board, and business attended the meeting. All participants and speakers contributed to this informative and engaging event.
The virtual course on Tax Service was held from 14 June to 31 October 2021, mainly covering the art of tax administration, country practices of tax services, etc. with the total duration of 5 hours. Nearly 160 tax officials from 14 jurisdictions attended this course.
The Third BRITACOF will be hosted by the Algerian Directorate-General of Taxes of the Ministry of Finance. Mrs. Amel Abdelatif, Director General of Taxes of Algeria extended her appreciation to the BRITACOM, stressed the importance of tax digitalization, introduced measures taken by the Algerian tax authority in this aspect, and invited participants to attend the Third BRITACOF in Algeria during the closing ceremony of the Second BRITACOF on 9 September 2021.
The Second BRITACOF themed “Digitalization of Tax Administration” was convened virtually on 7-9 September, attracting heads and representatives of tax authorities from 61 jurisdictions including China, Kazakhstan, Algeria, UAE, Uruguay, Sierra Leone, Singapore, and Russia, and heads of 12 international organizations, as well as representatives from the academia and the business.
The three-day event, hosted by the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan, features 4 topics, namely, Tax Administration Digitalization, Tax Service Digitalization, New Technologies in Taxation, and Tax-Related Data Governance. It aims to facilitate the establishment of a growth-friendly tax environment, open a new chapter of digitalized tax administration in the information age, promote taxation development against the backdrop of the BRI, and contribute to the global economic recovery through sound development of the BRITACOM and enhanced capacity of tax administration.
Four outcomes were released during the BRITACOF, namely, the Joint Statement of the Second Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum, the Nur-Sultan Action Plan (2022-2024), the Annual Report of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism (2021), and the Final Reports of Five Task Forces of the Wuzhen Action Plan (2019-2021).
During the Council Meeting on 7 September, Mr. Ali Altynbayev, Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan, was appointed as the BRITACOM Council Chair. Mr. Khalid Ali Albustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority of the United Arab Emirates, Ms. Margarita Faral, Director General of Dirección General Impositivaof Uruguay, Mr. Paata Kiladze, Deputy Head of the Revenue Service LEPL of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, and Ms. Tuma Adama Jabbi, Chairperson of National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone were elected BRITACOM Council Vice-Chairs.
From 28 July to 2 August 2021, a string of virtual Task Force meetings of the BRITACOM were successfully held online to discuss the work progress of the final reports of the five Task Forces established at the First BRITACOF, with a variety of views obtained from relevant parties and next steps proposed.
Chairs of five Task Forces hosted the meetings and updated participants on the progress of drafting the final reports on Enhancing Tax Administration Capacity, Expediting Tax Dispute Resolution, Following Rule of Law and Raising Tax Certainty, Digitalization of Tax Administration, and Streamlining Tax Compliance. Members of the Task Forces and Advisory Board expressed views on how to improve the final reports, proposed effective solutions to practical difficulties and measures to further task force work, and reached broad consensus on the next steps.
BRITA·Yangzhou uploaded a video course on Expediting Tax Dispute Resolution, which was accessible to tax officials of BRITACOM Member Tax Administrations and Observers from 11 January to 11 July 2021. Over 300 tax officials from 22 jurisdictions have joined the course.
The Virtual Seminar on Tax Treaty was held on 24 June 2021. Representatives from BRITACOM Council Member Tax Administrations, Observers, members of the Advisory Board, and business attended the seminar. Four presenters shared the practices in their jurisdictions and researches on tax treaty, triggering discussions and reflections among participants. The BRITACOM will organize more seminars to facilitate communication among the BRITACOM parties, forge consensus, and enhance cooperation to build a growth-friendly tax environment.
A virtual meeting between BRITACOM and State Revenue Committee of Kazakhstan (SRC), host of the Second Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum (BRITACOF), was held on 21 April to discuss the logistics of the forum. Considering the global pandemic situation, the two sides decided to hold the Second BRITACOF in September 2021 online.
The third and the last seminar of the seminar series focusing on tax administration digitalization themed Tax-related Data Governance and Application, was held virtually on 8 April 2021. BRITACOM parties exchanged experiences and views on data governance and application, highlighting the importance of data in supporting the administration of tax authorities. With the valuable sharing of keynote speakers and active engagement of all participants, the seminar contributed substantive content to this important topic.
The follow-up meeting of the seminar on Tax-related Data Governance and Application was held on 15 April 2021. Representatives from BRITACOM Council Member Tax Administrations and Observers attended the meeting. The close of this seminar marked the end of the virtual seminar series featuring tax administration digitalization.
BRITACOM co-hosted a virtual course with the IMF and the State Taxation Administration of China on Current International Issues in Tax Law Design on 15-17 March 2021. The course covered several topics such as COVID-19 and Tax Law Design, Corporate Taxation in the Global Economy, and Taxation of Foreign Direct Investment, which was very well received by 30 participants from 13 jurisdictions.
The High-level Virtual Conference featuring New Challenges, New Opportunities, and Future: Development Planning of Tax Digitalization in the Context of the Global Pandemic was held on 15 December 2020, participated by representatives from BRITACOM Member Tax Administrations, Observers, Advisory Board, international organizations and businesses. Participants shared experiences of making development planning of tax digitalization, introduced the digitalization technologies of taxpayer service, and exchanged views on how tax digitalization could serve state governance and thus stressed the importance of international cooperation.
BRITA·Macao held a video course on Prevention and Resolution of Cross-Border Tax Disputes during November 2020 and January 2021 among Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions attended by 71 tax officials from 7 jurisdictions. This course introduced the existing mechanisms to prevent and resolve international tax disputes and the implementation and application in domestic legislation.
In October 2020, the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Academy (BRITA) in Nursultan held a virtual course on Transfer Pricing 2.0 with the participation of over 30 representatives from tax administrations and international organizations. A virtual course with the theme of Implementation and Discussion of BEPS Steps was held in December 2020 participated by 60 officials from various jurisdictions.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, international travel and on-site training events were suspended. To cushion the impact of the virus, the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Capacity Enhancement Group (BRITACEG) delivered five online training programs from July to October 2020 for more than 350 participants from 31 BRI jurisdictions, featuring Large Business Management, Risk Management, Country-by-Country Reporting, Tax Treaties and Training for Trainers respectively.
Since the establishment of the BRITACOM in April 2019, two more Member Tax Administrations and eight more Observers have joined the BRITACOM by completing related processes based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of the BRITACOM. So far, there have been 36 Member Tax Administrations and 30 Observers spanning from Asia to Africa, Europe, America, and Oceania, working together on tax matters for removing barriers to cross-border trade and investment, boosting coordinated regional development, and inclusive growth in the context of economic globalization.
Since the virtual meeting featuring Responding to COVID-19: BRITACOM Perspective on 2 June 2020, the BRITACOM Secretariat has hosted a series of virtual events, which provide the BRITACOM parties more opportunities to exchange views and share experiences in such challenging times. Considering the theme of the Second Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum (BRITACOF) and the significance of tax digitalization, especially in the fight against COVID-19, the BRITACOM Secretariat has held three working-level seminars featuring tax digitalization. As part of the virtual seminar series, Seminar 1 and Seminar 2 (each seminar includes one working level seminar plus one follow-up meeting), with the theme of Business Continuity in Response to COVID-19 and Service and Administration of VAT in Digital Time, took place from 30 July to 22 October 2020. Representatives from BRITACOM Member Tax Administrations, Observers, Advisory Board, international organizations, and businesses attended the seminars. Participants exchanged views on digitalization in the areas of tax consultation, tax publicity, and taxpayer services to maintain business continuity during the pandemic and shared experiences in service and administration of VAT in digital times.
More than 20 members of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Journal(BRITJ) Editorial Advisory Board around the world attended the annual meeting, expressing their support and providing their insightful views on the first issue, on BRITJ’s development and the role of the Editorial Advisory Board in general. The BRITJ, while featuring the distinct characteristics of BRI jurisdictions, provides an indispensable platform for deepening tax communication and cooperation, and gives full play to its role as a “think tank” by providing intellectual support for BRI jurisdictions to improve domestic tax environment, strengthen tax administration cooperation, and build a growth-friendly tax environment.
Five virtual meetings of task forces of the BRITACOM Wuzhen Action Plan (2019-2021) on Expediting Tax Dispute Resolution, Following Rule of Law and Raising Tax Certainty, Enhancing Tax Administration Capacity, Digitalizing Tax Administration, and Streamlining Tax Compliance took place successfully from 4 August to 23 September 2020. Chair of each task force updated participants on the progress of each task force. Members of the task forces and the Advisory Board exchanged views on each interim report and reached consensus on next steps.
The Launch Ceremony of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Journal (BRITJ) was held in Beijing, China on 12 June 2020. The BRITJ provides an important platform for communication and cooperation among tax administrations of the BRI jurisdictions, through which the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism (BRITACOM) Member Tax Administrations, Observers, and other relevant parties could share insights for the formulation and development of effective tax policies and tax systems, and exchange innovative practices and invaluable experiences.
In response to the COVID-19, the Secretariat of the BRITACOM organized a virtual meeting on 2 June 2020 for experience sharing and exchanging, allowing BRITACOM parties to stay close online in such challenging time. Tax administrations shared their experience on the fiscal and tax policies, and collection and administration measures to respond to the pandemic. Experts from the Advisory Board and international organizations analyzed and reviewed policies and measures and provided suggestions for tax administrations. Taking this opportunity, the BRITACOM Secretariat also updated the BRITACOM progress since the First BRITACOF and participants provided suggestions for the future operation.
Being the official platform of the BRITACOM, the website (www.britacom.org) was launched to release news, enhance communication, provide tax services, etc. among all the BRITACOM stakeholders. Later on, the training programs of the BRITACEG, international tax policies, tax treaties, and other useful knowledge products will also be shared on this platform.
At the challenging moment of fighting the COVID-19, the Special Edition of the BRITACOM Update on COVID-19 was issued, providing a platform for BRITACOM Council Member Tax Administrations, Observers, and other stakeholders to exchange views and share experiences in responding to the outbreak. The measures and policies rolled out by tax administrations, and views provided by international organizations and experts were circulated through this platform.
Tax officials from 8 countries and regions, as well as members or their representatives from the Advisory Board participated in the Seminar. The participants agreed that the digitalization of tax administration would be the theme of the Second BRITACOF. Besides focusing on the construction of the BRITACEG and the implementation of the Wuzhen Action Plan (2019-2021), all participants actively exchanged views on the BRITA working plan and the building of the BRITACEG experts team and explored options for efficient communication of Task Forces on five identified topics.
The BRITACEG hosted its first face-to-face training event on Tax Dispute Resolution in BRITA·Yangzhou in China during 27-31 May 2019 with 27 tax officials from 13 jurisdictions including Kazakhstan, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine, etc. attending the event. The framework and procedures of tax dispute resolution and BEPS Action Plan 14, etc. were introduced through the lectures by tax experts and discussions among the participating tax officials. This BRITACEG training, which was a well-acclaimed milestone, kicked off the training series of the BRITACOM.
In order to strengthen tax administration cooperation under the BRI framework guided by the principle of achieving shared growth through consultation and collaboration, the BRITACOM was officially launched at the First Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum (BRITACOF) in Wuzhen, China from 18 to 20 April 2019. Heads and their representatives of tax administrations or finance departments from 85 jurisdictions, 16 international organizations, and a number of academic institutions and businesses participated in this conference.
The BRITACOM mainly consists of the Council, the decision-making body, and the Secretariat, a liaison office supporting the daily operation of the BRITACOM. Two key pillars underpin the success of the BRITACOM — the BRITACOF and the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Capacity Enhancement Group (BRITACEG). In addition, an Advisory Board was established to advise on and assist in fulfilling the vision and the purpose of the BRITACOM.
The BRITACEG and its network — BRI Tax Academy (BRITA) Yangzhou and Beijing, were established at the First BRITACOF. Meanwhile, based on the in-depth discussions on the five interlocking tax topics, i.e., (i) following rule of law; (ii) raising tax certainty; (iii) expediting tax dispute resolution; (iv) streamlining tax compliance and digitalizing tax administration; and (v) enhancing tax administration capacity, the BRITACOM Council adopted the Wuzhen Statement and the Wuzhen Action Plan (2019- 2021).
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