The 2022 Meeting of the Heads of Tax Authorities of the BRICS Countries (“BRICS Tax Heads Meeting”) was held online on November 2, 2022, marking the 10th anniversary of tax cooperation between the five major emerging economies. Hosted by the State Taxation Administration (STA) of China, the tax authority of the BRICS Chair for 2022, this annual event was attended by delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and for the first time from some international organizations. This is the 3rd consecutive time that this high level BRICS Tax Heads Meeting held in a virtual manner due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this time the BRICS tax authorities seemed determined to come up with something new and tangible for a change.
Proposed by the STA and endorsed by all the other BRICS tax authorities, BRICS Best Tax Practices (BBTP) case studies were officially launched at this meeting, showcasing the prized administration practices from the five countries. The idea behind this initiative is that by creating a signature knowledge product of the BRICS tax cooperation through collective efforts, the BRICS tax authorities strengthen their own capacity building and community building, at the same time inspiring ideas and best practices of other countries, especially developing countries.
The first batch of case studies, 9 in total, covers a range of topics, including Cooperative Compliance Program (CONFIA) from Brazil, Tax Debt Management and Effective Use of AEOI Data from Russia, Faceless Tax Administration and AIS and Updation of Returns from India, Smart Reconciliation of Individual Income Tax, Tax Awareness Month and Coordination of Tax and Customs Pricing for Imported Goods from China, and Tax Compliance Evaluation and Monitoring from South Africa.
Participants spoke highly of BRICS Best Tax Practices during the meeting. It was agreed that the case studies would be updated, enriching the pool of the knowledge product constantly.
For the first time in the event’s history, representatives from the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administration (CIAT) were invited and participated in the open session of the BRICS Tax Heads Meeting. BRICS tax heads applauded the contribution of international organizations in promoting reforms, facilitating cooperation and enhancing capacity building, and would like to keep the BRICS tax dialogue open and inclusive to bring in new wisdom and perspectives.
Mr. Wang Jun, Commissioner of the hosting STA, welcomed his counterparts from the BRICS tax authorities in his opening speech, including Mr. Júlio César Vieira Gomes from Brazil, Ms. Julia Shepeleva from Russia, Mr. Sanjay Malhotra from India and Mr. Edward Kieswetter from South Africa. He then went on to share the latest development in China’s tax policy and administration, promised that STA would make full efforts to facilitate cooperation among BRICS members, and called for greater BRICS contribution to the international tax agenda.
The conference also focused on how to improve the identification of BRICS tax cooperation, stressing that a more visible BRICS tax presence would be conducive to the international tax governance. Tax Heads from Brazil, Russia, India and China expressed their support to the South African Revenue Service (SARS), who is expected to host the 2023 BRICS Tax Heads Meeting during South Africa’s BRICS chairmanship.
The idea of BRICS tax cooperation was first initiated by India in 2012, who hosted the first BRICS Tax Heads Meeting in 2013. Over the years the mechanism gained more momentum with valuable and unique input from each member authority.