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A new top ten list: Just in time for tax reform

April 7, 2017 Blog 2 min read
Authors:
Bill Henson
Not quite as funny as David Letterman’s tax-themed Top Ten list, the OECD and IMF recently released their own list for promoting tax certainty. Just in time for U.S. legislators working on tax reform.

Letterman was renowned for his “Top Ten” lists, so it’s hardly surprising that he had a tax-themed list. Here are a few of my favorites from his list:

  • Deadlines are just suggestions. File your taxes whenever you want.
  • Make filing more personable by naming your calculator. Mine is named “Owen.”
  • Make sure your accountant went to a real school and not a phony Internet college like I did.
  • Getting a refund? Log on to IRS.gov to spin the wheel and play “double or nothing.”
  • And the number one tax tip this year is…Take it from me, prison’s not so bad.

In a similar vein, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and International Monetary Fund jointly issued their own “top ten” list recently regarding tax certainty. Get the full report here >>

The G20 leaders requested such a report at their summit last September, given concerns about the impact of tax certainty on business investment and cross-border trade. The findings were based on a survey of business leaders in G20 and OECD countries. The survey found that uncertainty on taxes discourages investment and trade and can influence where businesses locate.

It’s not as funny as Letterman’s, but the report’s list of “Top Ten Tools for Fostering Tax Certainty” has come out just in time for U.S. legislators working on tax reform:

  1. Reduced frequency of changes in tax legislation.
  2. Reduction of bureaucracy to comply with tax legislation.
  3. Detailed guidance in tax regulation.
  4. Changes in statutory tax systems announced in advance.
  5. Reduced length and complexity of the tax legislation.
  6. Domestic tax legislation in line with international taxation standards.
  7. Timely consultation with taxpayers when changes are introduced.
  8. Increased transparency from tax administrations.
  9. Efficient communication between taxpayers and administration (e.g. by digital means).
  10. Effective domestic dispute resolution procedures.

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