Tax evasion has, historically, been a great concern to governments across the world. It is a complex phenomenon involving diverse actors and enablers who wilfully develop and operate strategies to cocoon themselves from the tax authorities or avoid paying taxes. The EU Commission reported that 1 in 5 euros is lost because of tax avoidance and it is not clear what the amount and scale of tax evasion amount to.
The PROTAX consortium is looking for answers to questions like these: Why should we pay more taxes or have our public services undermined because someone isn’t paying their fair share? Is there a minority of untouchables that preserves its privileges at the expenses of their fellow citizens and exacerbates social inequalities?
The EU funded project, PROTAX, aims to enhance the prosecution of tax crimes in the EU.
Trilateral Research contributes to all aspects of the project and leads in some key areas.
Stakeholders engagements – In PROTAX, Trilateral identifies relevant stakeholders in all 28 Member States, engaging with tax authorities, policy-makers, relevant law enforcement authorities (LEAs), regulatory agencies, professional bodies and enablers (e.g., lawyers, accountants, auditors, banking associations and tax advisors), responsible for countering tax crime and enforcing the law.
Focus groups – In PROTAX, Trilateral leads the organisation of focus groups experts from European tax authorities and policy-makers (e.g., from the Ministry of Finance and/or the Ministry of Justice and/or the Ministry of the Interior), supervisory and regulatory authorities, and representatives of professional associations of bankers, accountants, private auditors.
The aim of the focus groups is to discuss how the country views tax crimes, to brainstorm on ideas for countering tax crimes, to consider the limitations on information-sharing and what could be done to improve information-sharing and to leverage scarce LEA resources.
Data protection, privacy, ethical and social considerations – Trilateral analyses the data protection, ethical and social issues arising in the focus groups. Special consideration will be given to the treatment of whistle-blowers.
Trilateral conducts a privacy and ethical impact assessment (P+EIA) of the case studies to identify privacy and ethical issues that arise in each case.
Trilateral leads the development of a methodology for the ethical impact assessment of
questionable tax avoidance schemes, which will include a balancing of the public interest versus corporate interests and can be used for implementing corporate social responsibility.
Project Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication – Trilateral is also leading the development and implementation of the project’s dissemination, communication and exploitation plans to raise awareness of PROTAX and its findings while increasing the impact of the project and the opportunity to engage and exploit the research outputs within the relevant stakeholders’ communities.
Toolkit for policy-makers
The toolkit is developed in consultation with policy-makers and presented with the interactive platform at the PROTAX workshop presented below.
Toolkit for LEAs and tax authorities
This toolkit will depict the different types of evidence necessary for securing a conviction regarding a tax crime.
Tax crime risk assessment methodology
This risk assessment provides practitioners with a checklist of suspicious behaviour and warning signs indicating a tax crime or money laundering.
Report of the stakeholder workshop
This report presents the outcome of the workshop at which the PROTAX consortium discusses the tools for policy-makers, LEAs and tax authorities, collecting feedback and suggestions from participants.
Please contact our team for more information:
The PROTAX project – New Methods to PRevent, Investigate and Mitigate COrruption and TAX Crimes in the EU – has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 787098.
You can view the Executive Summary and Table of contents of the Project Solebay Risk Assessment Methodology Report.
Please sign up to the Solebay mailing list to download the Full Solebay project report.