Co-operative Compliance and International Compliance Assurance Programs: Moving Forward the Debate.

Vienna, Austria, • English

This two-day conference has been organised in the context of the OECD’s recent launch of the International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP), which builds on the domestic concept of co-operative compliance programs that have become increasingly popular.


This conference will bring together tax officials, businesses, international and regional organizations and academics from OECD and non-OECD countries. The aim of this event is to provide a platform to share the experience of co-operative compliance programmes to date, discuss insights to their design and examine the new multilateral phase, ICAP.

Programme: Day 1 - Tuesday 3rd July 2018

09:00 – 09:30Registration
09:30 – 09:45Welcome Addresses
09:45 – 10:15Session I: How to Move a Debate forward by Developing a Three-year Program? What is a Co-operative Compliance Program? From Tax Policy Design to Operational Features.

In September 2015 the WU Global Tax Policy launched a program “Co-operative Compliance: Breaking the Barriers”. Since then a substantive research has been done on co-operative compliance programs, their design, essential features, and potential challenges on their implementation. The program promoted the concept and a growing number of countries from Africa have taken some steps towards the introduction of a co-operative compliance program.

So far, the discussion about co-operative compliance programs revolved around their benefits to various stakeholders: tax administrations, taxpayers and wider society. The session will go beyond that. It will examine how to design a co-operative compliance program that not only has a chance to achieve its goals but is underpinned by sound legal and institutional principles.

11:00 – 11:30Group Photo and Coffee Break
10:15 – 12:30Session II: Status of Selected Co-operative Compliance Programs. A Triangle of Perspectives: Discussion between Tax Administrators, Taxpayers and Tax Intermediaries.

This session will bring together diverse perspectives on the concept of co-operative compliance. During the session, academics, representatives of tax administrations, taxpayers and tax intermediaries will discuss what they see as key elements of co-operative compliance programs and the operational implications for participants.

1) What are the strengths and what are the weaknesses of co-operative compliance programs? Are they meeting expectations?
2) The post-BEPS era is characterized by the growing tax uncertainty. Is there a place for co-operative compliance in that scenario?

12:30 – 13:30Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:30Session III: Tax Control Framework: the Heart of a Co-operative Compliance Program

At the heart of co-operative compliance is the concept of a robust tax control framework, which justifies the reliance the tax administration places on the taxpayer’s returns and other disclosures. The framework needs to be developed and maintained by the taxpayer in accordance with an explicit set of principles. The role of the tax administration is to test the framework’s soundness and the definition of what is material is central to that. The issue of materiality is well understood in the context of the external audit of companies’ accounts. But for the purposes of testing a tax control framework it is necessary to define what is material in terms of the tax liabilities arising from the taxpayer’s activities. This issue and other developments in the concept and design of tax control frameworks, including the role of technology, will be discussed during this session.

1) What are the main concerns in developing and maintaining a tax control framework? How are they addressed? What is the role of tax administrations in that context?
2) What is the role of technology in designing a tax control framework?

15:30 – 16:00Coffee Break
16:00 – 17:30Session IV: How to Measure Outcomes rather than Outputs? Evaluation of Co-operative Compliance (Pilot) Programs

Well-informed tax policy needs to be underpinned by impact evaluation. In that context co-operative compliance programs pose a challenge because they do not conform to traditional performance measures. The aim of this session is to discuss the existing experiences with evaluation of co-operative compliance programs. The session will also look into how approach evaluation of pilot programs on co-operative compliance.

1) What are the key principles that need to be taken into account when designing an evaluation of a co-operative compliance program? What are the pitfalls?
2) What is the existing experience with evaluating co-operative compliance programs? Were any challenges met?

Programme: Day 2 - Wednesday 4th July, 2018

09:00 – 10:30Session V: On the Way to Co-operative Compliance Programs in Africa and in Other Regions

This session will discuss the potential for introducing the concept of co-operative compliance in less developed countries. Some tax administrations from Africa and other regions have already taken some steps to launch a pilot program on co-operative compliance and a few others are also considering joining this initiative. During this session the focus will be on rationale for pilot initiation, pilot design and documentation, communication and stakeholder engagement.

1) Is there any interest in co-operative compliance programs in your country? What role could a potential program play?
2) Are there perhaps any elements of a co-operative compliance program already in place in the tax system of your country?

10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30Session VI: International Compliance Assurance Program. A New Phase of the Domestic Concept?

International Compliance Assurance Program, or ICAP, draws on a domestic concept of co-operative compliance. But it goes even further. It can be seen a multijurisdictional (or multilateral) co-operative compliance. This session will provide a snapshot of the new initiative. The discussion will revolve around the potential benefits of the new initiative, some concerns it raises and obstacles countries may face when aiming to join in.

1) What were the rationale for moving towards the ICAP as a multilateral co-operative compliance program?
2) What are the potential benefits and what are the concerns?

12:30 – 14:00Lunch Break
14:00 – 15:00Session VII: Next steps

During the final session of the meeting the following topics will be discussed:
– keeping regional bodies informed
– experience and information sharing
– schedule of events


Paul MortonTechnical Adviser, International Chamber of Commerce Taxation Commission (UK)
Jeffrey OwensDirector, WU Global Tax Policy Center (Austria)
Jonathan Leigh PembertonProject Director, WU Global Tax Policy Center (Austria)
Alicja MajdanskaManager International Taxation, Henkel (Germany)
Emer MulliganLecturer, Taxation & Finance, NUI Galway (Ireland)
Lyne OatsProfessor of Taxation and Accounting, University of Exeter Business School, Co-Director of TARC (UK)
Jo WakermanDirector of Large Businesses, HMRC (UK)
Marco ZonettiHead of Cooperative Compliance Department, Italian Revenue Agency (Italy)
Alan McLeanExecutive Vice President Taxation, Shell (UK)
Ivan RodionovHead of Tax Performance Advisory (TPA), EY (Russia)
Eelco van der EndenPartner, Tax Administration Consulting and EMEA Tax Strategy Operations, PWC (Netherlands)
Roberto RisseCorporate Vice President Tax & Trade, Henkel (Germany)
Stefano CeccaciExecutive Vice President, UniCredit (Italy)
Petra Jacobsen (TBC)Head of large business unit Malmö, Swedish Tax Agency (Sweden)
Jörg MüllerSpecialist Tax at the Institute of Auditors in Germany e.V. (IDW) (Germany)
Maximillian ZieserResearcher, WU (Austria)
Erika ReinweberDeputy Director General, Ministry of Finance (Austria)
Erich KirchlerVice Head of Department for Economic Psychology, Educational Psychology and Evaluation, WU (Austria)
Eva EberhartingerHead of Tax Management Group, WU (Austria)
Logan Wort (TBC)Executive Secretary, ATAF (South Africa)
Kofi NtiCommissioner General, Ghana Revenue Authority (Ghana)
Doris AkolCommissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority (Uganda)
John NjirianiCommissioner General, Kenya Revenue Authority (Kenya)
Duncan OnduruSecretary General, Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) (UK)
Mark JohnsonSenior Policy Advisor, OECD (France)
Donald KorbFormer IRS Chief Council, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (USA)
Cindy NegusDirector, Competent Authority Services, International, Large Business and Investigations Branch, Canada Revenue Agency (Canada)
Samuel Gibb-CohenAssistant Director, Large Business National Compliance, HRMC (UK)

Logistical notes


Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)
Building D3, Welthandelsplatz 1
1020 Wein


Please email Gabrielle Sudwarts to register to attend.

The International Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the publication of Incoterms® 2020, an update of the renowned regulations that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers operating in the international trade system.

Sign up to our news alerts today to receive the latest news and information about the Incoterms® rules.