The Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as “BRITACOM”) is dedicated to enhancing tax administration capacity, facilitating trade and investment, promoting inclusive growth of economy, and realizing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Capacity Enhancement Group (hereinafter referred to as “BRITACEG”), a pillar of the BRITACOM, is aimed at establishing a practical platform for tax administrations, international organizations, businesses and academia of the Belt and Road Initiative jurisdictions (hereinafter referred to as “BRI jurisdictions”) for mutual learning, knowledge sharing, capacity building, and collaborative governance so as to jointly enhance tax administration capacity through cooperation and make the BRITACOM a great contributor in improving the global tax governance system.
Since its inception in 2019, upholding the Silk Road spirit characterized by peaceful cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, and highlighting its special functions, the BRITACEG has been promoting mutual enhancement of tax administration capacity of the BRI jurisdictions by carrying out international tax training programs, engaging in communication and exchanges as well as sharing tax administration experiences and best practices. In order to continuously promote the development of a cooperative and win-win international tax system, based on the Introduction of the BRITACEG Curriculum System issued at the 3rd Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum and with the existing training curriculum taken into consideration, the BRITACEG has formulated The BRITACEG Curriculum System Version 1.0, taking new strides towards the goal of tax serving high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Targeted at tax officials from the BRI jurisdictions, the BRITACEG has set up this system with four themes as its main frame, namely, Tax System, Tax Administration and Digitalization, Tax Environment and Taxpayer Service, as well as Tax Cooperation, which include 8 topics, 27 subtopics and 65 courses. Following the principles of being realistic, practical and efficient while focusing on the core theme of tax administration capacity enhancement and taking into account the current status of tax environment and administration capacity of the BRI jurisdictions, the system gives consideration to academic requirements, practical needs and future demands while also striving for a balance between theories and practices, generality and individuality, as well as breadth and depth.
The courses are divided into three levels - elementary, intermediate and advanced. Introducing both online and offline teaching methods, the BRITACEG provides diversified contents and multiple accesses for participants from different jurisdictions. Meanwhile, the BRITACEG would continue to invite leading professionals of various tax fields to join the team of trainers and share their expertise. Tax officials, especially those from the BRI jurisdictions, would be invited to share best practices through the BRITACEG platform. A strong team of trainers is supposed to conduce to high-quality teaching, thus promoting mutual enhancement of tax administration capacity, facilitating tax exchanges and cooperation, and jointly building a growth-friendly tax environment.
Tax system is first of all a legal concept, which is the fundamental norm for all tax-related activities, and also a determinant for tax certainty and tax environment stability. At the same time, the tax system has a certain social nature, and its formulation is determined by the level of productive forces, the nature of production relation, the system of economic management and the role that taxes are designed to play. Learning and mastering the basic theoretical knowledge of tax system, as well as its design philosophy, governance idea and behavioral logic embodied in it (including the standards and guidelines related to tax governance in international exchanges and cooperation), is the basis for tax administration capacity enhancement.
There are two topics in this theme: Introduction of Tax Systems and Introduction of International Tax Rules. They are designed to help tax officials understand the fundamentals of various categories of taxes and jurisdiction-specific practices, as well as the knowledge and latest developments in international taxation in order to improve capacity in tax legislation and law enforcement.
Under the topic of Introduction of Tax Systems, there are four subtopics divided according to tax types: Goods and Services Taxes, Income Taxes, Property and Behavior Taxes, and Other Taxes for a total of seventeen courses. For each subtopic, the specific contents cover but not limited to: basic concepts and rationales of tax(es); major elements of tax system(s), distribution of tax power, major tax reforms, best practices, as well as other heated issues regarding tax systems.
The topic of Introduction of International Tax Rules sets five subtopics, including International Tax Treaties, International Anti-Avoidance Rules, Cross-Border Income Tax Administration, BEPS Action Plans, and Introduction of International Rules to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalization of the Economy, with a total of nine courses.
As the pace of transformation in economic and social digitalization is accelerating and new technologies and business models are constantly emerging, the tax administration is faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges as well as significant and fundamental changes. In order to meet the needs of the digitalization of the economy, it is necessary to form a scientific, complete and effective integrated system for various elements of tax administration. Also, it is an important way to reduce the cost of tax compliance, to facilitate taxpayers' filing, to improve the tax environment, as well as an important indicator of a jurisdiction's tax administration capability.
Two topics are set in this theme, namely Tax Administration System and Digitalization of Tax Administration (DTA), aiming to help participants understand the law of tax administration, promote the digital upgrade and intelligent transformation of tax administration, and improve the effectiveness of precise regulation.
The topic of Tax Administration System consists of two subtopics - Structures of Tax Administration and Regimes of Tax Administration, under which, four courses are designed to illustrate the main elements of tax administration activities, law enforcement of tax authorities, management of tax sources, taxpayers’ rights protection etc., and to share tax administration experience of the BRI jurisdictions.
The topic of Digitalization of Tax Administration covers four subtopics, namely, Fundamentals of DTA, Evolution and Application of DTA, Technical Underpinning for DTA, Tax Big Data and Practical Adoption. Under these subtopics, there are eleven courses systematically explaining particular practices of DTA in the BRI jurisdictions in the hope of promoting DTA development and application.
A pro-business tax environment, which has an important impact on investment, manufacturing and business operation, is a prerequisite for economic growth in this dynamically evolving age. Taxpayer service is not only the theme of world tax development era, but also an important factor affecting the quality and efficiency of tax administration. A favorable tax environment and a high-level taxpayer service are major indicators of international tax competitiveness, and also efficient measures to improve tax compliance and enhance tax administration capacity.
The theme of Tax Environment and Taxpayer Service discusses two topics - Creation and Optimization of Tax Environment and Taxpayer Service, aiming at helping tax officials strengthen their understanding on relevant concepts and learn from best practices. After learning, they will be able to build evaluation matrixes for tax environment and taxpayer service in their own jurisdictions which are both adapted to national conditions and international norms, so as to jointly improve taxpayer service.
Optimization of Tax Environment includes two subtopics - Indicator Design and Evaluation of Tax Environment, and Jurisdiction Practice of Optimizing Tax Environment with three courses. This topic introduces how the indicators of tax environment are designed and used, together with the reform practices in tax environment of the BRI jurisdictions, in order to help participants better comprehend the importance of optimizing tax environment through analyzing specific needs of taxpayers.
The topic of Taxpayer Service with a total of six courses includes four subtopics: Overview of Taxpayer Service, Tax Service for Large Businesses, Tax Service for Small and Medium Enterprises, and Tax Service for Individuals, aiming at sharing the best practices and innovative measures by introducing important theories, practical experience and relevant references of taxpayer service in an omni-bearing, multi-level and targeted way.
Tax cooperation is the concrete manifestation of international and domestic cooperation in the field of taxation, which is of great significance for tax authorities to learn from international experience and promote various work. Enhancing cross-border tax administration to tackle the evolution of economic globalization and the rapid development of cross-border transactions, and adopting inter-organizational cooperation to strengthen tax co-governance are powerful measures by tax authorities in various jurisdictions to improve the efficiency of tax administration.
This theme is set with two topics - International Tax Cooperation and Domestic Tax Co-Governance, aiming to help participants improve the ability of tax dispute resolution in both international and domestic aspects and that of international cooperation and domestic inter-organizational tax co-governance.
With ten courses in total, the topic of International Tax Cooperation sets up three subtopics including Multilateral Tax Cooperation, Mutual Assistance in Tax Administration and International Tax Dispute Resolution, introducing current major platforms for multilateral cooperation in the field of taxation, the introduction of their operation and the role they play in the international taxation arena, presenting an overview of the development of current international mutual cooperation in tax administration, analyzing the reasons for tax disputes and common resolution mechanisms, as well as discussing efficient ways to accelerate the resolution of tax disputes.
The topic of Domestic Tax Co-Governance consists of three subtopics with five courses, the contents of which include case sharing about inter-organizational collaboration between tax authorities and customs, and typical practices in developing a tax co-governance system. These courses introduce domestic tax dispute resolution mechanisms and share useful explorations in solving practical problems from perspectives of both regime and practice as well.
The BRITACEG Curriculum System will be further optimized responding to innovation in tax theories and practices, course demands and participants’ feedback. The BRITACEG plans to complete the recording of the courses listed in the curriculum in a phase-in manner and post them online through the official website of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Academy • Yangzhou (https://www.brita.top/) in 2023.