Co-Operative Compliance Agreement

A letter can confirm the willingness of both parties to commit and the steps each party plans to take. In all cases, it is very difficult to assess cooperative compliance programs on the basis of effectiveness and efficiency criteria. It is problematic to try to find a point of comparison to determine what the results would have been without cooperative compliance. It is therefore difficult to determine the results of the cooperative compliance model and, overall, the action of the tax administration. On the basis of the data collected for this study, it is not possible to say whether the use of tax administration resources in one of the countries is more efficient than before or whether compliance with cooperation has led to direct cost savings. In all six cases, we find similar obstacles, some of which are external and structural, while others are internal and organizational. External structural barriers include legal issues such as public access to documents, equal opportunities and the possibility of obtaining binding answers from the tax administration. These include more diffuse barriers, such as enhanced public scrutiny. Internal organizational barriers, such as different but co-existing „schools of thought,“ and internal discussions about impartiality within the tax administration, call into question working with the cooperative compliance program. Comparisons have shown that legal affairs can hinder a program.

From a government perspective, cooperative compliance programs are attractive: we were one of the first companies to enter into such a formal agreement with the Dutch tax authorities. . . .

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