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In a pioneering move, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen has recently announced plans to assist developing countries in the collection of taxes.
The minister also plans to examine together with Dutch Financial State Secretary Frans Weekers a number of existing tax treaties to assess the effects of the accords on tax revenues in developing countries. The aim is to ensure that the treaties, which are in some cases decades old, are still fit for purpose.
Commenting on her plans to support developing countries with their revenue collection, Ploumen underlined the importance of ensuring that these countries are able to generate their own income and assume responsibility for their own people. It is important that governments in developing countries are able to stand on their own two feet, Ploumen emphasized.
Ploumen explained that she had recently agreed with Weekers that experts from the Dutch tax authorities and from the Dutch finance ministry are to help tax authorities in certain targeted developing countries.
The Dutch foreign affairs ministry pointed out that experience and expertise gained in the mission will also be used in the OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development concept "Tax Inspectors Without Borders," a new initiative launched earlier in the year to help developing countries bolster their domestic revenues by making their tax systems fairer and more effective.
Building on that concept, the OECD aims to establish an independent foundation, to be up and running by the end of 2013, that will provide international auditing expertise and advice to help developing countries better address tax base erosion, including tax evasion and avoidance.
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