ISLAMABAD: A three member high level delegation of Inland Revenue-Policy Wing of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will attend a three day conference on regional taxation problems in the first week of April in Japanese capital Tokyo.
The conference is funded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as a part of regular interaction among the tax authorities of Asian Countries. The participants of the conference share new changes introduced to improve tax system by their respective departments in the previous year in their home countries
“Member Inland Revenue-Policy and Official Spokesperson FBR Shahid Hussain Asad will lead the delegation while other members include Chief Income Tax Policy Amjad Zubair Tiwana and Chief Commissioner Large Taxpayers Unit Karachi Dr. Muhammad Irshad” a well placed official source at FBR told this scribe here on Tuesday.
Shahid Hussain Asad has completed a comprehensive presentation for the said conference and he will brief the FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa on after his arrival from his visit abroad about this presentation.
Presently Bajwa is in Turkey along with six member delegation. His visit is part of activities under an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 countries.
At the conference in Tokyo the participants will present their reports about new changes in tax regimes in previous yeas. Assad will discuss four main sectors; main contours of tax authorities, main policies and reforms, new needed policy interventions and to improve the tax base in the region as well as ways and means to further to expand tax base net.
Moreover, in his presentation, he will highlight recently negotiated bilateral treaties regarding tax especially with Austria and Switzerland. Last week, Pakistan and Austria signed Additional Protocol amending the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation (ADTA) with Austria. Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa and Brigitta Blaha, Austrian Ambassador signed the document on behalf of their respective governments. Austria and Pakistan, it may be added, have been treaty partners for the last ten years as they signed the Convention on Avoidance of Double Taxation in August 2005 which was enforced in 2006.
Moreover, Shahid Hussain Assad while leading delegation will also express FBR’s viewpoint about the upcoming challenges and issues pertaining to administrative capacity of enforcement and audit. He will highlight and try to learn from best practices of developed countries like Japan in the field of administrative capacity of enforcement agencies. Japan is already assisting infrastructure improvement in Customs.
High-Level Tax Conference for Asian Countries will provide an opportunity for developing countries in the Asian region to discuss challenges in international taxation with stakeholders. The workshop will be financed by the Japan Administered Account for Selected IMF Activities (JSA).
Challenges in International Taxation for Developing Countries International taxation is now one of the most acute and important issues for both advanced and developing countries. While developing countries are often urged to introduce the latest and internationally-agreed upon tax rules that enable authorities to address cross-border tax avoidance and train cadres to be experts on international taxation, it is critical to build an effective tax system and tax administration as a whole.
The session starts with updates on the G20-OECD work on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), followed by a discussion of each participant country’s challenges in international taxation and how the IMF, and other international or regional organizations as well as advanced countries, can help developing countries build capacity and build an effective tax system and administration.
It is pertinent to note here that last year this conference was attended by 37 senior officials from 19 countries in Asia as well as representatives from the OECD and the Asian Development Bank.
The conference covered a wide range of emerging tax issues in the region including energy taxation, regional harmonization of tax systems, analytical tools to strengthen tax administration, reform issues and challenges in tax administration, international taxation, and taxation of high wealth individuals.
Since its inception in 2009, the annual high-level tax conference has provided participants with a rare opportunity to expand and deepen personal relationships with peer senior officials in the region, promoting further collaboration among tax authorities.
This year’s conference followed that tradition, offering a forum for officials in the region to share their experience and freshen their knowledge on the latest and most important issues in tax policy and tax administration areas. In 2013, some 38 officials, heads, or senior officials of tax policy departments and tax administration agencies from 18 countries in Asia attended the this regular interaction.