IMPROVING TAX DISCIPLINE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL CRISIS Cover Image

УНАПРЕЂЕЊЕ ПОРЕСКЕ ДИСЦИПЛИНЕ У САВРЕМЕНИМ КРИЗНИМ УСЛОВИМА
IMPROVING TAX DISCIPLINE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL CRISIS

Author(s): Mileva S. Anđelković
Subject(s): Criminal Law, Criminology, Law on Economics, Fiscal Politics / Budgeting, Penal Policy
Published by: Институт за политичке студије
Keywords: tax discipline; tax evasion; tax ethics; anti-evasive policy;

Summary/Abstract: The basic function of tax authorities is to administer regular collection of taxes, which is altogether a most difficult task considering the problems caused by tax evasion. The complexity of this phenomenon is particularly evident in modern economies which provide a wide range of opportunities for taxpayers’ evasive behavior. Due to technological innovation and the liberalization policy, tax evasion exceeds national borders and tax evaders increasingly take over the global financial and economic flows. As tax losses keep piling up in national budgets, in times of global economic crisis states are forced to undertake rigorous measures towards improving the fiscal discipline. On the global scale, the powerful international organizations have exerted their best efforts to counteract offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning, which are perceived as a matter of political priority. The creation of adequate anti-evasive policy first implies the need to precisely delineate and define the different modalities of tax non-compliance, both at the national and international level. In this context, tax authorities may benefit from the results of theoretical and empirical studies on taxpayers’ behavior. Without giving up the traditional repressive measures, developed tax administration authorities increasingly focus on preventive measures, which are primarily aimed at meeting the needs and interests of taxpayers (especially the large ones). The preventive dimension underlying the policy of improving fiscal discipline is reinforced by some new instruments and mechanisms, which have not been used thus far (e.g. amending tax legislation, raising taxpayers’ awareness, tax amnesty, third parties’ tax reports, etc.). A substantial number of states have enacted anti-abusive legislation (both general and specific), adopted their tax risk management strategies, worked on promoting “better” relations between tax authorities with taxpayers, and joined the international exchange of tax information. Yet, creating a positive tax environment is insufficient for combating diverse forms of tax fraud, for which reason states resort to repressive measures. The envisaged fiscal penalties reflect a wide array of taxpayers’ illicit conduct. Yet, tax evasion as the most serious and socially detrimental tax crime is not always subject to appropriate public reaction. The paradox is that the most excessive tax evaders are the wealthiest and the most powerful individuals and corporations, which may be the reason why tax authorities are not quite effective in preventing this negative social phenomenon. It is probably for the same reason that many countries “tolerate” gray economy as a kind of buffer preventing wider social dissatisfaction with the current situation in economic and political life. On the global scale, powerful international organizations (such as the G20, the OECD, the EU, the UN) are actively involved in activities aimed at preventing international tax fraud and financial crimes, urging all states to adopt “global tax standards” and enter the processes of international exchange of tax information. The time to come will show whether the ultimate objective of these international efforts has been to prevent tax evasion or to exercise full control over all financial and economic flows.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 187-206
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian