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In short, there are many efficiency gains. But there have also been warnings that such gains could be too short-sighted. The efficiency aspect is questioned more broadly: the possible short-term gains from cost-effectiveness and shortened response time for questionable tax issues could be lost in the longer term due to corporations' decreased compliance.

Corporations also question the efficiency if they face additional extra workload. Does cooperative compliance mean that tax administrations effectively outsource control to those who are supposed to be controlled? Given the various opinions and concerns about cooperative compliance, it was timely to investigate how these programmes work out in practice. While taxation has most often been researched using legal or quantitative approaches, qualitative and ethnographically inspired studies of tax administration and taxation are increasingly in demand.

This is where our research makes a contribution. The aim of this article is thus twofold. First, we present key features of the cooperative compliance model in its practical implementation and operation. Second, we go beyond national comparisons and propose seven dimensions of practice based on a qualitative comparison of cooperative compliance programmes in selected jurisdictions. These universal dimensions ought to be considered when implementing or changing cooperative compliance programmes in any jurisdiction.

Professor of Taxation and Accounting, Deputy Director of Tax Administration Research Centre (TARC)

This article builds on research conducted over several years in Northern Europe in Denmark, 5 Finland, 6 the Netherlands, 7 Norway, 8 Sweden 9 and the UK 10 engaging with all stakeholders in the corporate tax arena. We used ethnographic techniques, primarily in-depth interviews, to investigate how developments in each jurisdiction are playing out in practice. In each country, the actors interviewed include large business in-house tax specialists, external advisors and industry representative bodies as well as tax authority large business specialists. In addition, we have collected and analysed policy documents, media reports and other documents addressing cooperative compliance projects in each country.

The comparison of cooperative compliance models in these countries, often considered quite similar, is instructive: in the variations shown in the adaptation of the model, in the responses they drew from stakeholders and in the resulting legacy of the model that will continue to shape relations between tax administrations and large corporations.

The Netherlands and the UK share a historical similarity in their approach to tax administration. These two countries were early adopters of cooperative compliance models, yet the models they adopted are quite different. In the Nordic countries, which adopted similar cooperative compliance at a later stage, the outcomes were very different. In all countries, the history of previous collaboration and the external environment have been influential in shaping the trajectory of cooperative compliance.

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For some countries, cooperative compliance was a radical change; for others, it was a slight modification of a model that had already been implemented. As this research shows, past experiences and relations established between tax administrations and large businesses have a significant impact on how the programmes unfolded. This process has been facilitated by support for the model from many large business taxpayers across jurisdictions. Cooperative compliance builds on the slogan: "certainty in exchange for transparency". There is no universal cooperative compliance model, however, three common features include:.

Over the years, as more and more countries have introduced cooperative compliance models, it has become possible to identify key features of their implementation and practical operation. Table 1 shows which of these key features are included in the cooperative compliance programmes in the six countries studied. Inclusiveness all large businesses. Single point of contact.

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Provision of advance rulings. Source : Authors' own compilation. These dimensions are based on comparisons between the countries developed in an inductive manner from the empirical material. Our approach to comparison is inspired by anthropology, 13 selecting various cases strategically in order to achieve the greatest possible amount of information on a given problem. Cooperative compliance programmes have resulted in cultural reorientations. These can be seen in terms of time and space as well as relationships to some extent in all the studied countries.

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The timing of interactions between large businesses and tax authorities under cooperative compliance shifts from regular spaced events such as filing returns, to more irregular needs-based interactions. Spatial changes include the creation of new or reorganised large taxpayer units. Relationships shift from a command and control, coercive style to a collaborative and more consensual approach.

In the case of Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands, we find the introduction of new principles and routines working according to the cultural orientation. In Norway, the main concern was temporal reorientation. Each taxpayer had to work out the meaning of a number of changes individually. In Sweden, the spatial reorientation evoked strong reactions in the absence of a strong collaborative tradition. In the UK, the cultural reorientation was much more gradual and therefore muted.

The evaluation of cooperative compliance programmes against the criteria of effectiveness and efficiency is very difficult in all cases. It is problematic to try to find a point of comparison in order to determine what the outcomes would have been without cooperative compliance.

Therefore, it is difficult to infer which outcomes are attributable to the cooperative compliance model and which are overall attributable to the tax administration's actions. Based on the data collected for the present research, it is not possible to say whether the use of tax administrations' resources in any of the countries is more efficient than before or that cooperative compliance has brought about direct cost savings.

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The requirement for changed competences as a result of cooperative compliance was articulated differently both between countries and between stakeholders e. First, corporations in all six countries expressed the belief that tax officials lack knowledge about business and commercial reality. They are also locations for conflict and contestation.

In this course you will use theories and case studies from anthropology and sociology in conjunction with a student designed fieldwork project to examine and better understand the relations between people and place. You will explore senses of belonging and investigate how colonisation and migration complicate the relationship between self, group, community and place. Other themes addressed include emotional and sensory geography, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in place. Please note that the University reserves the right to vary student fees in line with relevant legislation.

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Business and Management. Creative Arts. Engineering and Related Technologies. Environmental and Related Studies. Humanities and Law. Information Technology. Natural and Physical Sciences. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Faculty of Built Environment. Faculty of Engineering. Faculty of Law.

Karen Boll | CBS - Copenhagen Business School

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AVIG: Aviation. BINF: Bioinformatics. BIOC: Biochemistry. BIOT: Biotechnology. SOL, Organizing Technologies. Selected publications. Boll, K. Shady car dealings and taxing work practices: An ethnography of a tax audit process. Accounting, Organizations and Society , 39 1 , Publications sorted by:. Cham : Palgrave Macmillan , p. In: Bureaucracy and Society in Transition. Bingley : Emerald Group Publishing , p.

Abingdon : Routledge , p. In: Journal of Tax Administration, Vol. Rhodes; Mark Bevir.


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In: Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol.