Secretary General's Tax Report 2023

Promotion of inclusive and effective tax cooperation at the United Nations 

The report is accessible here A/78/235.

The resolution

On 30 December 2022, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on “Promotion of inclusive and effective tax cooperation at the United Nations” that reaffirms earlier international commitments to scale up international tax cooperation, fight illicit financial flows and combat aggressive tax avoidance and evasion. The resolution decides to begin intergovernmental discussion at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation. It does so without calling for or ruling out an international tax cooperation framework or instrument that is developed and agreed upon through a United Nations intergovernmental process.

Member States have requested in the resolution that the Secretary-General prepare a report as the basis for further discussions during the Assembly’s seventh-eighth session. The report will analyze relevant international legal instruments, other documents and recommendations that address international tax cooperation; evaluate additional options to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of such cooperation; and outline potential next steps for making international tax cooperation fully inclusive and more effective.

The context

Against the backdrop of a looming economic and costs of living crisis, rising inequalities and climate change, there is urgent need for strengthened international tax cooperation to fight tax avoidance and evasion, as well as illicit financial flows. All of these activities have a common feature – they drain resources desperately needed to address the impact of today's crises on lives and livelihoods and to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals and climate action.

Various meetings, discussions, processes and recommendations intend to further the achievement of SDG target 16.4, substantially reducing illicit financial flows by 2030, and of improving domestic resource mobilization and strengthening international tax cooperation. While resulting in some progress towards achieving those goals, these efforts also illustrate the timeliness and importance of further strengthening international tax cooperation in order to make it fully inclusive and more effective.

International tax cooperation must advance progress toward a fair and effective international tax system for sustainable development, in a way that reflects the needs, priorities and capacities of countries, in the context of the current international tax landscape and beyond.

The process

The resolution acknowledges international tax cooperation efforts at various international forums, including (but not limited to) the United Nations and its Tax Committee, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and the OECD/Group of 20 Inclusive Framework (IF) on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.

In preparing his report, the Secretary-General is consulting widely with Member States and relevant stakeholders, including civil society, business and academia, as well as the members of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax. Engaging with young persons is an important part of these consultations. The process builds on multilateral and regional platforms that have made and will continue to make significant contributions to international tax cooperation.

Accordingly, the Secretariat invited Member States and other stakeholders to provide written input. Over 80 written submissions were received. All submissions were made publicly available before the 2023 Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) meetings on financing, in order to facilitate multi-stakeholder discussions on the weaknesses and gaps in existing arrangements for international tax cooperation, as well as additional options for making such cooperation fully inclusive and more effective.

For more information on inputs, see here.

In addition, informal briefings / consultations were organized to share updates on the report preparations and seek feedback and further input from Member States and other stakeholders on the analytical approach, initial findings, and emerging options.

For more information on events, see here.

The official report translated into the six official UN languages will be released in advance of the seventh-eighth session of the General Assembly on the UN Official Document System (ODS). 

Please find a projected roadmap that tentatively outlines how the resolution will be implemented here.

Please check this website regularly for updates.

For questions, contact

Find the General Assembly Resolution on "Promotion on inclusive and effective tax cooperation at the United Nations" here.