FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Tax Analysts, the nonprofit, independent provider of federal, state, and international tax news and analysis, today released an exclusive article examining the appropriateness of the Australian Treasury’s decision to solicit funding from accounting firms and professional organizations to host a symposium in Tokyo on the G-20’s tax agenda, and its decision to close the substantive sessions to the media.
As part of Australia’s G-20 presidency, the Australian Treasury hosted an international tax symposium in Tokyo on May 9-10. Four private entities sponsored the event: Deloitte, KPMG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia. The symposium focused on the OECD’s base erosion and profit-shifting initiative, automatic information exchange, and tax matters facing developing countries.
The article, written by contributing editor Kristen A. Parillo, notes that while it is common for tax conferences to obtain sponsorships because of the significant amount of money and resources needed to hold a conference, the symposium was sponsored by several firms and organizations that are directly affected by the outcome of the meeting. She also notes that with the exception of the opening and closing remarks, the event was closed to the media.
“The symposium’s closed-door status belied the message in the OECD’s July 2013 BEPS action plan that work on the action items will include ‘a transparent and inclusive consultation process,’” Parillo writes. “It also seemed at odds with the Australian government’s aggressive stance on BEPS and the measures it has implemented in recent years to curb avoidance and improve corporate tax transparency.”
“Is there a good reason to prohibit the media from covering an event like the one in Tokyo?” Parillo continues. “One could argue that the attendees would feel more comfortable sharing their views, knowing that their comments wouldn’t be reported in the press. But is that a good enough reason when government representatives are there to discuss their governments’ positions on important tax issues, and when the topic being discussed does not involve any confidential or sensitive information?”
As part of its public education mission, Tax Analysts seeks to establish transparency in the tax laws and more dialogue between tax authorities and taxpayers. Through these and other efforts, Tax Analysts works to ensure that the tax laws are applied fairly and equally to taxpayers across the country.
Read the article at TaxAnalysts.com.
For more information or to speak with Parillo, please contact Shaima Cardillo at 703-531-4852 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Shannon David at 703-531-4835 or Shannon_david@tax.org.
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