A brief review of Tax Ethics drives all of us to feel that its implementation would need to start with the Tax Authorities themselves: Tax Authorities have an image in the developed world build over the last 25 years of behaving like racketeers…
One should not forget that the right to tax is granted by the People to its representatives to enable the government to finance the tasks of general interest that serve all citizens. Taxation is not here to promote the wellbeing of a certain class of citizens either politicians or bureaucrats. A government has the obligation to spend the money wisely for the common good and wellbeing of all citizens.
This being said, we have observed during the last fifty years a clear split between the founding principal of a democratic taxation and the evolution of such an unfortunate necessity.
We all welcome the initiative of the EU to discuss Tax Ethics to enable a large debate about the future of taxation and the behavior of tax authorities in relation with common interest, the Charter of Human rights and the Charter of Investors Rights, both actively supported at International level through the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development and the United Nations Alliance on Civilizations.
To be pragmatic, our first concern is the basic rights of the citizen. It is essential to have the rule of law apply to a tax authority the same way as it applies to the citizen, requiring minimum standards such as:
Taxation must be fair, it cannot be used by a government to expropriate, directly or indirectly certain classes of citizens. All citizens have the right to be treated equally
Taxes that are designed to limit the freedom of a citizen or the behavior of tax authorities that are used to dissuade citizens to dispose of their freedom of movement or simply intimidate citizens must be banned
The constitution of Tax Cartels by governments must be banned
Retroactive Tax Laws must be banned
Countries are free to organize their Tax Laws in agreement with their Citizens. Interference into National Tax Laws by any other State or Organization of States must be outlaw
All Tax laws are subject to Civil Laws, they cannot be considered Criminal
We expect the leaders of Europe to defend the basic rights of the taxpayer (a citizen) and to apply to them the same ethical behavior they expect from the people of Europe.
Member of the Board, FECIF