This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union.
What are good practices in asset repatriation programmes? What are the lessons learned with similar programmes internationally? Any recommended anti-money laundry provisions and safeguards? How far can secrecy go?
- The scope of tax amnesty and asset repatriation programmes
- Best practices in implementing tax amnesty and asset repatriation programmes
- Country examples
Tax amnesty and asset repatriation programmes have a long history and remain as popular as ever. International experience shows that amnesty can lead to windfall revenue gains, which are particularly desirable in times of recession or financial crisis when revenues are under pressure and expenditures are growing quickly.
Successful tax amnesties and asset repatriation programmes, however, are the exception rather than the norm as, over time, net revenue collection and compliance may be negatively affected by amnesties.
This report draws upon the past experience of countries and identifies best practices in implementing a tax amnesty and asset repatriation programme. A successful programme needs to be specific in its aims and terms and all relevant competent authorities must be adequately capacitated not just to handle tax cases professionally and expeditiously, but also to mitigate money-laundering risks. In the long run, the success of tax amnesties relies mostly on the government's willingness to undertake structural changes.