Cooperative Compliance Programmes: Who Participates and Why?

Sjoerd Goslinga, Janneke de Jonge, Maarten Siglé, Lisette van der Hel-Van Dijk


This study examines which organisations participate in cooperative compliance programmes (CCPs) and why by comparing large organisations in the Netherlands that do and do not participate in them. We use data from surveys conducted among representatives of large organisations and their Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA) account managers between 2014 and 2018 (n=394). The results show that there are few differences in organisational characteristics between CCP participants and non-participants, but that larger organisations are more likely to participate in CCPs. Furthermore, CCP participants have better working relationships with the NTCA, better Tax Control Frameworks (TCFs), and display greater transparency than non-participants. In addition, CCP participants report having a greater need for certainty and higher perceived certainty about their tax positions than non-participants. Within the group of CCP participants, we also assess whether there are differences related to the intensity of contact with the NTCA and the duration of participation. We find that the working relationship and the level of transparency are somewhat better, and that compliance costs for the organisation are reduced, when there is more frequent contact between a large organisation and the NTCA. At the same time, we find a negative relationship between the duration of CCP participation and the quality of the TCF. We conclude that large organisations may benefit from CCP participation in terms of gaining more certainty about their tax position, whereas the tax authority may benefit because the organisation displays greater transparency. Both parties may benefit from the development of a better working relationship, but it appears that both parties need to continuously invest time and effort into the programme in order to actively maintain the cooperative relationship.

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