In recent years, the STA has actively enhanced its exchanges and cooperation with international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) as well as regional taxation organizations such as the Study Group on Asian Tax Administration and Research (SGATAR), the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT), the Inter-European Organization of Tax Administration (IOTA) and others located in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. It has been deeply involved in tax agendas under the framework of the G20, including the BEPS project, the CRS project, and providing assistance to developing countries in capacity building. In deepening tax cooperation with BRICS countries, it attended the 6th Meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities held in Johannesburg, South Africa in June 2018. It took part in key projects initiated by the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), and co-led with Canada on the capacity building project.
Mr. Wang Jun, the STA Commissioner, attended and addressed the Advisory Committee of the Forum on Tax Administration held in Paris, France in November 2018. As a member of the SGATAR, the STA hosted its 48th Annual Meeting in Hangzhou in November 2018, pushing forward with the reform of SGATAR and increasing the quality and efficiency of cooperation.
Exchanges and Cooperation under the G20 Framework
In 2018, the STA continued to be deeply involved in the BEPS Action Planentrusted to OECD by the G20. It actively participated in many BEPS-related meetings and played an active role in the reshaping of international tax rules. It will be reviewed concerning the four minimum standards of the BEPS Action plans and expected to finish the internal procedures for the implementation of the BEPS Multilateral Convention in China at the beginning of 2019.
In February 2018, Mr. Wang Jun, the STA Commissioner, attended the First Global Conference of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax held in New York, the US and delivered a keynote speech. In his speech, Mr. Wang Jun shared six major practices of how tax supports sustainable development in China and proposed three initiatives. Arousing an echo with all participants, they believed that China offered beneficial experience in making use of tax in supporting sustainable development, which can serve as a reference for tax authorities across the globe.
Participation in FTA Activities
Mr. Wang Jun led the STA delegation to the FTA Advisory Committee Meeting held by OECD in Paris, France from November 28th to 29th, 2018, and delivered a keynote speech. In his speech, he introduced the ideas and approaches of China in promoting tax reform, constantly improving governance ability, actively deepening international tax cooperation and expanding mutual benefits and win-win outcomes over the past four decades of reform and opening up, and shared China's outcomes and experience in pressing ahead with reforms in the tax administration system and the taxation system in recent years, which were widely acclaimed by delegates of the meeting. Under the co-leadership of China and Canada, a framework of decision-making, monitoring and evaluation of the capacity building project took initial shape and the Knowledge Sharing Platform (KSP) was popularized to a greater extent. China was also actively involved in the MAP forum, advanced analytics, human resource and organizational management, Joint International Task force on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC), Tax Administration Series (TAS), sharing economy and risk administration. Through clarifying the individual responsibility, the STA kept good communication and coordination with all partners and proactively promoted related work through face-to-face meeting, network video conference, teleco-nference, questionnaire, and report writing.
Participation in OECD Activities
The STA started to take part in activities of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) from 1996. Such involvement has become more intense since China became a formal CFA observer in 2004. In 2015, the STA and the OECD signed a Memorandum for Cooperation 2016-2018, which covers various forms of cooperation in nineteen areas including tax policy, tax administration and international taxation. Key results of STA's cooperation with OECD are as follows:
◆ The STA co-organized a symposium of country-by-country reporting with the OECD. 49 participants, including OECD experts and representatives from 21 tax authorities including China, exchanged views on the reporting, exchange and use of CBC reporting. The symposium is a significant action to implement the 13th action plan of the BEPS project, and an important measure to strengthen international cooperation and improve information transparency.
◆ Since 2005, the STA has been attending meetings of CFA, its subordinates as well as the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and served as the vice-chair of Working Party 10 (Exchange of Information and Tax Compliance). In 2018, the STA actively participated in peer review meetings of the Global Forum to deliberate on each jurisdiction's domestic laws on CRS. At the same time, China fulfilled its commitment to the G20, exchanged non-resident financial account information in tax matters for the first time in September 2018 and sent a total number of 730000 pieces of information to 49 jurisdictions. The CRS information sent by China is of high quality, well-received and praised by other jurisdictions.
◆ The STA sent over 100 tax officials to attend Global Relation Programme events held in Multilateral Tax Centers of OECD in Seoul, Ankara, Budapest, Vienna and Mexico. In 2018, 29 officials attended seventeen events in these Multilateral Tax Centers (MTCs).
◆ The STA made best use of OECD-STA Multilateral Tax Center to provide training courses for domestic tax officials and those from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc. In 2018, the STA organized seven events in this MTC. 442 domestic tax officials participated in these events and tax officials from developing countries were also invited.
Cooperation with IMF
In 2016, the STA signed a Three-year Technical Cooperation Agreement (2016-2018) with the IMF. Under the agreement, the STA received five delegations of IMF expert in 2018 which respectively focused on the promotion of tax analysis and tax administrative investigation, the definition of the institutional mechanism and responsibility of criminal investigations, collection and administration of individual income tax, international value-added tax reference and implementation and tax risk management of large businesses. In 2018, IMF experts, composed of authoritative figures in the international financial and taxation fields, came to China to conduct third-party evaluations on the implementation of the Plan of Deepening the Reform of Tax Collection and Administration System of State and Local Tax Administration (hereinafter referred to as "the Plan" ). Through questionnaire survey, discussions and field research, the IMF successfully completed the assessment. In its evaluation report, the IMF affirmed major achievements in the implementation of "the Plan" and China's modernized tax collection and administration, and highly appreciated the administrative ideas and reform measures in "the Plan".
Participation in the BRICS Activities
Upon the invitation of the tax authority of South Africa, a delegation headed by STA Commissioner attended the BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities Meeting in Johannesburg in June 2018. The STA Commissioner delivered a keynote speech to introduce important measures and achievements in improving tax collection and administration by digital technology, upgrading the business environment and strengthening capacity building, and received positive comments from all parties. The meeting made the founding of the capacity building mechanism of the BRICS tax authorities as the most essential issue and outcome, and reviewed and adopted the document of the capacity building cooperation mechanism. The communiqué issued after the meeting shared the commitment of the BRICS heads of tax authorities in deepening international cooperation in the digital field, strengthening knowledge and experience sharing and establishing the BRICS capacity building mechanism.
Pushing Forward SGATAR Reform
The Study Group on SGATAR is the only official organization for collaboration on tax administration in the Asia-Pacific region. As a member of the Permanent SGATAR Task Force, the STA, together with the Philippines and Indonesia, promoted reform in operational framework, future development and capacity building and made significant progress. During the 48th Annual Meeting of the SGATAR in 2018, the provision of granting permanent observer status, conceptual
documents for the future development of SGATAR and suggestions on continuing to strengthen cooperation with other international organizations on promoting capacity building of member countries were appreciated and endorsed by the Heads of Delegations (HODs).
Helping Developing Countries with Capacity Building
The STA helps developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America with their capacity building in a variety of ways, including legislative consultation, featured discussion, expert support, experience sharing and technical assistance. In 2018, the STA carried out aid projects on taxation with Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation, and held seminars for developing countries taking advantage of the cooperation projects of the People's Bank of China and the IMF, inviting countries along "the Belt and Road" to promote international cooperation, with 44 tax officials from twenty developing countries participated.