International Conference of Tax Administration

The International Conference on Tax Administration is a prestigious biennial event that brings together leading tax administrators, academics and practitioners from around the globe. The theme of the 2018 conference was ‘Tax system integrity in a digital age’.

On 5–6 April 2018, the School of Taxation & Business Law once again hosted the much-anticipated biennial International Conference on Tax Administration, the theme of which was maintaining “Tax system integrity in a digital age”. This was the 13th such conference organised by the School, and probably its most successful yet. 

Professor Chris Styles delivered the opening address to the conference, which was attended by 150 delegates comprising government officials, tax practitioners and academics from 5 continents and over 20 countries around the world. There was a particularly strong representation from the Asia Pacific region, with one of this year’s sponsors being the Tokyo-based think tank the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI).

The conference featured plenary sessions from senior tax administrators from Australia and New Zealand, national and international tax regulators (including the national taxpayer advocate from the United States), international tax scholars from Denmark, Canada, China and the UK, and experts from global institutions including the International Monetary Fund and the ADBI.

An overarching theme of the conference related to the challenges and opportunities presented by recent technological advances such as cloud technologies, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), FinTech and blockchain. Key topics included: data analytics and information issues in the digital era; tax administration and tax dispute resolution challenges, with 7 sessions devoted to various developing countries; transparency, taxpayer rights and tax compliance costs; and the impact of digitisation on indirect taxes and the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project. Scholars from Vienna University of Economics and Business won the Cedric Sandford Medal for their paper on the impact of the sharing economy on global tax administrations.

The issues presented in the conference were both timely and topical. This became particularly evident in the light of the breaking news of a Fairfax-Four Corners investigation into alleged abuse of power by the Australian Taxation Office, which prominently featured one of the conference keynote speakers, the Inspector-General of Taxation.

Conference Program

Download the conference program

Day 1: 5 April 2018

08:30 - 08.45 am

Registration and Coffee on Arrival

Session 1 – Plenary (Chair: Professor Chris Evans)

08.45- 09:00

Professor Chris Styles, Dean, UNSW Business School, UNSW Sydney: Welcome to Country and Delegates

09.00-09:30

Neil Olesen, Second Commissioner of Taxation, Australia (Client Engagement Group): Tax administration in a digital age: The Australian experience

09.30-10.00

Sharon Thompson, Deputy Commissioner Customer & Compliance Services – Individuals: Tax administration in a digital age: The New Zealand experience.

10.00-10.30

Morning Tea

Session 2 Parallel

 

Stream A
Tax administration challenges

Stream B
Taxpayer rights in the
digital age

Stream C
Digitalisation and
BEPS

 

Chair: Sharon Smulders

Chair: Robin Woellner

Chair: Ann Kayis-Kumar

10.30-10.50

Christian Gillitzer & Mathias Sinning (University of Sydney & Australian National University)
Testing the effect of the timing of reminder letters on tax debt payments of business
Paper | Presentation

Duncan Bentley (Swinburne University of Technology)
Timeless principles of taxpayer protection: How they adapt to digital disruption
Paper | Presentation

Kerrie Sadiq, Adrian Sawyer & Bronwyn McCredie (Queensland University of Technology, University of Canterbury and Queensland University of Technology)
Tax design and administration in a post-BEPS era: A study of key reform measures in 16 countries
Paper

10.50-11.10

Nigar Hashimzade (Durham University)
Taxing the clouds: An economic analysis
Paper

John Bevacqua (La Trobe University)
The digital divide and taxpayer rights: Cautionary findings from The United States
Paper | Presentation

Lusi Khairani Putri & Christine Tjen
(Universitas Indonesia)
Tax analysis on implementing BEPS Action Plan 1 in respect of the digital economy in Indonesia: A case study of Facebook Singapore Pte Ltd
Paper | Presentation

11.10-11.30

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

 

Stream A
Tax administration challenges (cont’d)

Stream B
Tax dispute resolution in the digital age

Stream C
Digitalisation and
E-filing

 

Chair: Mary Ip

Chair: Duncan Bentley

Chair: Bill Butcher

11.30-11.50

B. Bawono Kristiaji
(Danny Darussalam Tax Center, Indonesia)
The political economy of global consensus on taxing the digital economy
Presentation

Melinda Jone (University of Canterbury)
The Internal Revenue Service’s Future State Initiative and its impact on the tax dispute resolution system of the United States: A dispute systems design perspective
Presentation

Bernadene de Clercq (University of South Africa)
The “Uberisation” of e-filing in South Africa
Paper | Presentation

11.50-12.10

Sabina Hodžić (University of Rijeka)
Tax administrative challenges of the digital economy: The Croatian experience
Paper | Presentation

Sriram Govind, Christina Dimitropoulou & Laura Turcan (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Applying modern, disruptive technologies to improve the effectiveness of tax treaty dispute resolution
Paper

Adrian Sawyer & Simon James (University of Canterbury & University of Exeter)
Digitalization of tax: Comparing New Zealand and United Kingdom approaches
Paper | Presentation

12.10-12.30

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

12.30-14.00

Lunch

Session 3 – Plenary (Chair: Professor Neil Warren)

14.00- 14.30

Ali Noroozi, Inspector-General of Taxation, Australia: Ensuring appropriate revenue authority scrutiny in the age of the sharing economy

14.30- 15.00

Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, Internal Revenue Service, USA: Protecting taxpayers in the era of big data

15.00-15.30

Ian Taylor, Chair of the Australian Tax Practitioners’ Board: Complying with the Code in the digital age

15.30-15.50

Afternoon Tea

Session 4 Parallel

 

Stream A
Tax administration challenges

Stream B
Information issues in a digital age

Stream C
Digitalisation and indirect
Tax

 

Chair: Kalmen Datt

Chair: Richard Highfield

Chair: Rick Krever

15.50-16.10

Karen Powell & Monica Hope (Deakin University)
Cross the bridge when we come to it? The perils of shifting regulatory definitions in emerging markets: A comparative analysis of digital currency definitions in Australia and U.S Tax Law
Paper | Presentation

Amanda Veit (Australian Taxation Office)
The impact of data and analytics on tax administration: The response from the ATO and other tax jurisdictions to leveraging data for taxpayer engagement
Paper | Presentation

Cristina Trenta (Örebro University, Sweden)
Re-thinking EU VAT for P2P distribution
Paper | Presentation

16.10-16.30

Mathew Leighton-Daly (University of Wollongong & UNSW Sydney)
Identity theft and crime: Has technology made it easier to defraud the revenue
Paper | Presentation

Neil Warren
(UNSW Sydney)
Estimating the tax gap is ‘everything’ to an informed response to the digital era

Yan Xu (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Indirect taxation on trade in digital services: A China case study

16.30-16.50

Marina Bornman & Marianne Wassermann (University of Johannesburg)
Tax literacy in the digital economy
Paper | Presentation

Andrew Maples & Robin Woellner (University of Canterbury & UNSW Sydney)
In search of information in the digital age – A comparison of the Australian, New Zealand & UK access powers
Presentation

Titi Muswati Putranti
(Universitas Indonesia)
A new approach to implementing a single value added tax invoice system in Indonesia
Paper | Presentation

16.50-17.15

Q & A based upon previous 3 papers

Q & A based upon previous 3 papers

Q & A based upon previous 3 papers

18.00-21.00

Dinner Reception sponsored by ADBI

Day 2 : 6 April 2018

Session 5 – Plenary (Chair: Professor Michael Walpole)

09.00-09:30

Professor Brooke Harrington, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark: Technology and tax avoidance: A double edged sword

09.30-10.00

Professor Wei Cui, University of British Columbia, Canada: China: From atomistic coercion to voluntary compliance

10.00-10.30

Professor Gareth Myles, University of Adelaide, Australia: Taxation after the digital revolution

10.30-11.00

Morning Tea sponsored by Oxford University Press

Session 6 Parallel

 

Stream A
Tax compliance costs in the digital age

Stream B
Legal aspects of tax administration

Stream C
Developing country tax administration in the digital age: Challenges and opportunities

 

Chair: Adrian Sawyer

Chair: Roberta Mann

Chair: Wawan Juswanto

11.00-11.20

Richard Highfield, Michael Walpole & Chris Evans (UNSW Sydney)
A diagnostic tool for assessing VAT compliance costs: Results of a pilot study and proposals for further development
Paper | Presentation

Kristin Hickman (University of Minnesota)
Restoring the Lost Anti-Injunction Act
Paper

Thailand

11.20-11.40

Martyn Knottenbelt (Inland Revenue New Zealand)
Compliance costs of NZ taxpayers
Presentation

Kalmen Datt (UNSW Sydney)
Tax system integrity and director’s obligations under the Corporations Act.  A tale of two systems
Paper | Presentation

Philippines

11.40-12.00

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

 

Stream A
Tax compliance costs in the digital age (cont’d)

Stream B
Legal aspects of tax administration (cont’d)

Stream C
Developing country tax administration in the digital age: Challenges and opportunities (cont’d)

 

Chair: Shirley Carlon

Chair: Roberta Mann

Chair: Wawan Juswanto

12.00-12.20

Karen Stark & Sharon Smulders (University of Pretoria & University of South Africa)
Tax compliance costs of individuals in South Africa: Work in progress to establish a base line
Paper | Presentation

Monica Bhandari (University College London)
Limiting the recovery of overpaid tax in a UK/EU context
Paper

Malaysia

12.20-12.40

 

Miranda Stewart & Emily Millane (Australian National University)
The legal framework for behavioral tax payment

Indonesia

12.40-13.00

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

Q & A based upon previous 2 papers

13.00-14.00

Lunch

Session 7 – Plenary (Chair: Professor Binh Tran-Nam)

14.00- 14:30

Jennie Granger PSM, International Monetary Fund: Taxing times in the information age

14.30- 15.00

Shinichi Nakabayashi, Director of Administration, Management & Coordination, Asia Development Bank Institute, Japan: Japanese perspectives on taxation and tax administration in a digital age

15.00-15.30

Afternoon Tea

Session 8 Parallel

 

Stream A
Tax administration and the sharing economy

Stream B
Transparency and information issues in the digital age

Stream C
Developing country tax administration in the digital age: Challenges and opportunities (cont’d)

 

Chair: Miranda Stewart

Chair: Gordon Mackenzie

Chair: Wawan Juswanto

15.30-15.50

Clement Migai, Julia De Jong & Xue Peng (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
The sharing economy: Turning challenges into compliance opportunities for tax administrations
Paper | Presentation

Catriona Lavermicocca (Macquarie University)
What do tax transparency reports tell us about tax governance and tax decision making by large corporations in Australia?
Paper

Kirbati

15.50-16.10

Jurie Wessels & Marina Bornman (University of Johannesburg)
The tax compliance decision of the individual in business in the sharing economy
Paper
| Presentation

Mahmoud Abdellatif Khalil & Salah Gueydi (Qatar University & Qatar Financial Center)
Transformation of tax administrations’ functions in post-automatic exchange of information era: A developing country’s perspective

Samoa

16.10-16.30

 

Ranjana Gupta (Auckland University of Technology)
Everything but the kitchen sink: The evolution of the international exchange of information and disclosure rules on tax matters
Paper

Vanuatu

16.30-16.55

Q & A based upon previous 3 papers

Q & A based upon previous 3 papers

Q & A based upon previous 3 papers

16.55-17.15

Conference Closing Comments

17.30

Drinks at Ocean Bar

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