U4 Helpdesk Answer | Basic service sectorsPublic financial management

Combatting corruption in tax and customs administration in Asia-Pacific

U4 Expert Answer 2015:13

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Tax and customs administration is particularly prone to corruption due to the complexity and technical nature of regulations and processes, the high discretionary powers of revenue officials, and the disproportionate financial gains which can be made compared to the risk and cost of getting caught. Corruption in this area generally takes the form of evasion (by taxpayers/importers), collusion (between taxpayers/importers and officials) and extortion (by officials).

Approaches to mitigating corruption risks in tax and customs administration can be divided broadly into four areas: simplifying laws and processes; strengthening risk-based management and improving employment conditions; strengthening the ethics and monitoring framework; and promoting greater transparency in operations.

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