Tax Chat!

Tax Chat! is an online series of conversations with interesting people from around the globe who work on taxpayer rights in a variety of disciplines, including law, economics, public finance, psychology, and anthropology, and in fields such as human rights, tax ombuds/advocates, low income taxpayer clinics, and tax administrations.

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Tax Chat! with Les Book and Keith Fogg

— Administrative Burden & Taxpayer Rights —

13 April 2021 
Noon EDT/17:00 BST/18:00 CEST

Join us on 13 April at noon EDT/17:00 BST/18:00 CEST for our next Tax Chat! on the Administrative Burden and Taxpayer Rights

Our guests for this Tax Chat! are Professors Les Book and Keith Fogg.  Over the last year Les, Keith, and Nina Olson, the Tax Chat! host, have been working on an article that describes a rights-based framework for identifying and mitigating excessive administrative burden in tax administration.  The Tax Chat! will be on April 13th at noon EDT/17:00 GMT/18:00 CEST.  You can check your local time here.   This “virtual” event is free, but you need to register here in order to receive the link.

In this Tax Chat! we will discuss how administrative burdens, especially excessive administrative burdens, can deter taxpayers from benefitting from tax provisions and taxpayer protections.  Building on the work of public administration scholars Pamela Herd and Don Moynihan, who define administrative burden as the learning, compliance, and psychological costs citizens experience when they interact with government, we discuss the concept of administrative burdens and reveal specific examples of how IRS actions, and inaction, have burdened taxpayers and jeopardized taxpayer rights.  In addition to identifying and contextualizing these problems we propose that the IRS, working with internal and external partners, conduct and report on internal audits to evaluate when it would be appropriate to reduce, eliminate, or shift burdens away from citizens and onto the government or third parties.

To check the time of this Tax Chat! in your time zone, click here.

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Tax Chat! Videos are now available on YouTube

Tax Chat! No. 5
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics – An International Movement

Our guests for this Tax Chat! are Keith Fogg, David Massey and Amy Lawton, Annette Morgan and Donovan Castelyn, Emer Mulligan, and David Sams, all of whom are involved in the clinical movement in their respective countries.

In this Tax Chat! we discuss the growth of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic movement from its inception in the US and its expansion internationally.  We chat about start-up issues including identifying the population served, scope of services offered, and geographic reach, interaction with the private bar, tax agencies, and the courts, and systemic advocacy initiatives, including filing amicus briefs and commenting on regulations.

Tax Chat! No. 4
The Economic Psychology of Tax Behavior

Our guest for this Tax Chat! is Erich Kirchler of the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Vienna.  Erich developed the Slippery Slope Framework, which suggests tax compliance is an interaction between taxpayers and the tax authority — one that involves a dynamic relationship between the power and trustworthiness of the tax authority.

In this Tax Chat! we discuss tax psychology methodology, the Slippery Slope Framework, the impact of audits and penalties on tax compliance, taxes and emotions, and challenges for tax administration in the wake of the pandemic.

Tax Chat! No 3
The Anthropology of Tax

Our guests for November’s Tax Chat! are Lotta Bjorklund Larsen, Johanna Mugler, and Nimmo Elmi. In this episode, we will explore “what anthropology is” and how anthropological research can uncover new insights into people’s behavior and assumptions about taxation, tax administration, government, and tax compliance. We discuss anthropological fieldwork and how anthropology interacts with other disciplines.  We also discuss Nimmo’s fieldwork with the Kenyan Tax Authority in the development of ITax; Johanna’s fieldwork observing OECD negotiations relating to the international tax framework; and Lotta’s work within the Swedish Tax Agency, following a risk analysis project from start to finish.

Tax Chat! No. 2
Taxpayer Rights, Human Rights, & Sustainable Development Goals

In our October 2020 Tax Chat! are Professors Riel Franzsen and Annet Oguttu, and Asha Ramgobin discuss the rights of governments to raise the necessary funding to achieve sustainable development goals for their citizenry and the rights of taxpayers to have their needs met. 

We also explore the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the ability of governments to meet those needs, and we also discuss how the international tax structure can undermine developing countries’ efforts to achieve sustainable development goals

Tax Chat! No. 1
Observatory on the Protection of Taxpayers’ Rights

In our inaugural Tax Chat! Professor Pasquale Pistone and Philip Baker, QC discuss international and national trends in taxpayer rights identified in the recently published Observatory on the Protection of Taxpayers’ Rights general and national reports. 

Topics include the right to privacy in light of exchange of information agreements; mandatory disclosure and consequences for attorney-client privilege; and proportionality of sanctions and penalties.