Transparency International

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

Query

Can you please compile existing studies on corruption risks and approaches to fighting corruption in customs and tax administration?

Purpose

We are planning to start discussions with companies on corruption issues they are facing. They have identified several topics, including corruption in tax and customs authorities, as their major concerns.

Content

  1. Corruption in tax authorities
  2. Corruption in customs authorities
  3. References
     

Summary

Tax and customs authorities handle large sums of money and are responsible for collecting the principal revenue for the state. Corruption within these institutions is perceived to be common all over the world. Complex tax laws, high discretion of public officials and low cost of punishment create ideal conditions for corrupt behaviour to take place. Citizens and companies may bribe officials to evade taxes and duties. In turn, public officials in these institutions may seek to extract illicit rents from taxpayers, either by collusion or extortion. Effective monitoring and control of tax and customs authorities may significantly reduce the risks of corruption. This answer outlines the corruption challenges related to tax administration and customs authorities and highlights approaches to combat corruption in these institutions.
 

Authors

Iñaki Albisu Ardigo, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

15/12/2014

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