The IEB created the first IEB Tax Forum in the year 2012 with the aim to analyze the Spanish tax system from an economic perspective. Within the framework of the Forum, a symposium entitled The Spanish tax system in times of crisis: changes or reform? took place. The purpose of the symposium was to initiate a public discussion on the Spanish tax system and its possible reform – at a time in which this subject received little attention.
Only two years later, we launch the IEB Tax Forum 2.0. The main goal of the second edition is to analyze the role of the tax administration, an issue which has often been neglected in the economic analysis and the public opinion. However, it is fundamental in order to achieve a good performance of the tax system and to establish a principle of legal certainty for business investment.
Recently a new trend in tax systems across the world can be noted. The tax administration of many advanced economies changed from a system of control and persecution towards a more service orientated system, which supports taxpayers and builds on cooperation with the private agents participating in the fiscal system. This model of taxpayer assistance for the compliance of tax obligations, without neglecting the traditional fight against tax evasion, seeks to reinforce the voluntary compliance as a main element of the efficiency of the tax administration. Therefore, the most advanced tax organizations are changing in order to provide the necessary means to facilitate the cooperation with the taxpayer, who is now regarded more as a customer than as a potential tax evader.
Likewise, the Spanish model of fiscal decentralization involves a high degree of participation of the autonomous Communities’ in public expenditure. However, this trend towards expenditure decentralization has generally not been reflected in the field of the management and collection of the tax revenues which are needed to finance sub-national expenditures. This asymmetry has caused a lack of development of the tax administration in the autonomous Communities. As a result, the enforcement powers regarding the main taxes of the Spanish fiscal system are concentrated in the State Agency for Tax Administration (AEAT), according to a centralized model based on the monopoly of the information and on the disciplinary rigor.
In this context, the IEB holds a symposium on 27 October in Barcelona entitled Models of Tax Administration, aiming to achieve the following goals:
1) Identify the different institutional models of Tax Administration that exist in developed countries in order to analyze the pros and cons of the different systems.
2) Obtain practical evidence of the performance of those Tax Administration models that could be the most appropriate for the Spanish institutional reality.
The IEB Tax Forum 2.0 is sponsored by the Generalitat de Catalunya, PwC, Everis, Asociación Española de Asesores Fiscales (AEDAF), Registro de Economistas Asesores Fiscales and Col•legi d’Economistes de Catalunya, and is conducted by professors José María Durán and Alejandro Esteller (UB-IEB).