The OECD issued its report "Taxpayers' Rights and Obligations: A Survey of the Legal Situation in OECD Countries" in 1990. The report outlined the Taxpayer Charters adopted in OECD member states, and it also indicated guidelines as to the desirable international model of Taxpayer Charters. Currently, many states in the world have introduced Taxpayer Charters in the forms of law or administrative statement.
Under these circumstances, AOTCA, CFE and STEP agreed to start a joint project on Taxpayer Charters with the objective of collecting information on the current status of Taxpayer Charters in the countries/regions which the respective organizations cover. The Preliminary Report of this project was issued in May 2013, and proposed a Model Taxpayer Charter based on careful and thorough studies including the result of a survey collected from 37 countries/regions. This report was circulated widely to tax authorities, international organizations such as the OECD, EU and UN and tax professionals' organizations around the world. Since then, the team of project members has sought the opportunity to hear comments from various organizations concerned.
The Final Report of the Model Taxpayer Charter was compiled based on these collected opinions and suggestions. Considering the balance of taxpayers' rights and obligations, it proposes 20 principles for the Charter. These principles would be of great help for drafting or amending the Charter.
The ultimate purpose of the Taxpayer Charter is to establish the mutual trust and respect between taxpayers and tax authorities. In this context, we, tax advisors are expected to play important roles to achieve this objective.
It would be our great pleasure if the final report provides the people concerned with some guidelines or references in drafting Taxpayer Charters or any form of administrative statement in many jurisdictions.
The Model Taxpayer Charter project was one of the largest undertakings of this kind in terms of the scope of studies as well as the number of countries/regions the survey covered. Three tax professionals' organizations in the world jointly initiated and carried out such a remarkable project, for which I feel very pleased and honored.
Last but not least, I express my heartfelt respect and appreciation to Mr. Michael Cadesky, Mr. Ian Hayes and Mr. David Russell for their great endeavor and contributions.