UNITED NATIONS — Director of China’s State Administration of Taxation Wang Jun urged at the United Nations headquarters for greener, more open and effective tax systems to boost economic growth.
Major international organizations — including the IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank Group are gathering at the United Nations headquarters, calling on governments from around the world to strengthen and increase the effectiveness of their tax systems to generate the domestic resources needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Delivering his keynote speech on Feb 14 at the Eve of the Chinese Spring Festival, Wang said that while a country with the biggest tax paying population is preparing for the traditional New Year, when fireworks are an import part of the celebration, Chinese tax authorities have imposed a special tax on fireworks production and sale, to help change the tradition more environmental friendly and with some are turning to E-fireworks.
Sharing China’s experience in tax systems, Wang said that China has been trying hard to make a greener, more innovative, more coordinated, open and tax-payer-friendly system to go along with China’s economy which is shifting from quantity-focused growth to a quality-oriented one.
Tax is also a very important part of global governance, Wang said, adding that China has established cooperation ties with 117 countries around the world.
Wang proposed that China would like to hold an international tax conference with countries along the Belt and Road, and sponsor tax capability-building training with developing countries to further strengthen international cooperations.
“I call upon the international community to establish effective mechanisms to combat tax evasion, money laundering and illicit financial flows, so that developing countries could better mobilize their own resources,” Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said in his message to the conference.
“Funding the SDGs is an economic and ethical imperative with major implications for taxation. Countries themselves need to raise more revenue in an equitable way. And the entire international community needs to eradicate tax evasion and tax avoidance.”
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, said in her video message.
Research indicates that at least 15 percent of GDP in revenue is necessary to finance these basic services but, in almost 30 of the 75 poorest countries, tax revenues are below this 15 percent threshold.
At the same time, all countries need to pay greater attention to the spillovers from their tax policies and step up their support for stronger tax systems. Governments and relevant stakeholders also need to continue to work together on establishing a fair and efficient system of international taxation, including efforts to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance.
During a three-day conference at UN headquarters on “Taxation and the SDGs,” ministers and deputy ministers of finance, tax authorities, and senior representatives from civil society, private sector, academia, regional and global organizations will debate the key directions needed for tax policy and administration to meet the SDGs by 2030.
The conference, organized by the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) at UN headquarters, provides a unique opportunity to discuss the role of tax in ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all, including: how to mobilize domestic resources for development; tax policies to support sustainable economic growth, investment and trade; the social dimensions of taxation (income and gender inequality, human development); as well as capacity development and international tax cooperation.
The conference aims to provide guidance to countries and other stakeholders on how to better target tax efforts to achieve broader development goals. Insights from the conference will help inform and shape the future work of the PCT members and partners, including the IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank.