PROTAX launches new toolkits and training activities for policymakers and law enforcement agencies across Europe: Join us!

Since October 2020, the PROTAX Research Consortium has been virtually travelling across the EU Member States to present three cutting-edge Toolkits (#PROTAXToolkits) which have been co-created with input from expert stakeholders to assist policymakers, law enforcement agencies and tax administrations in their activities. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PROTAX has arranged on-line workshops and webinars with relevant stakeholders and contributed to strengthen the debate on the alignment of the policies and enforcement practices aimed at countering tax offences as a way to foster a more just and fairer tax eco-systems across the European Union.

These practical tools presented by Professor Umut Turksen, scientific coordinator of the project, with support from Dr Donato Vozza (Coventry University), Dr Reinhard Kreissl (VICESSE) and Dr Stefanie Brottrager (VICESSE), include:

  • A toolkit for policymakers, which provides recommendations and actions to counter tax crimes at national and EU level.
  • A toolkit for law enforcement agencies and tax authorities, which consists of a tax fraud investigation framework (TFIF) aimed at promoting new and harmonised methods for investigating tax crimes at national and EU level.
  • A toolkit including a tax crime risk assessment methodology (PRORAM), which is the methodology used by the Consortium to identify areas of gaps and vulnerabilities in the fight against tax crimes in the EU Member States.

The purpose of these instruments is to address complex issues at EU and national level from a practical point of view. Accordingly, during the first phase of these workshops leading experts and practitioners (academics, policymakers, tax experts, tax authorities’ representatives, law enforcement agencies, judicial officers, and professionals of relevant industries) in tax matters operating in Italy, Estonia, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Malta and Finland have contributed to the fine-tuning of the toolkits.

These prominent experts with different backgrounds and from different countries have warmly welcomed these tools. Moreover, some law enforcement agencies have already confirmed that they will adopt these toolkits as part of their training and/or have expressed interest in developing training informed by the results of the PROTAX project.

In the course of the workshops, participants also expressed and shared their vision on the development of common policies and practices to combat tax crimes, confirming the existing differences among Member States but also a common core of topics on which the European Union can work in the future. These workshops strengthen and reaffirm the idea that the PROTAX project brings together different stakeholders and co-create workable solutions collaboratively and offer an added value to the European Union policies and initiatives in countering tax crimes.

In the coming weeks and months, more workshops will be conducted in other EU member states (including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece).

Additionally, PROTAX has launched a partnership with the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre of EUROPOL. In January 2021, Prof. Turksen will disseminate the findings of the project and present the toolkits to the experts of this EU enforcement agency. This cooperation is yet another demonstration of the capacity of PROTAX to meet the needs of the stakeholders and to approach the issues through in-depth theoretical analysis and practical simplification. Building bridges between the “laws in the books” of academics and the “law in action” of practitioners, the scope and the goals of this project go far beyond traditional research projects.

Hopefully and providing that the current COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, we will convene at a final conference in Lisbon (Portugal) where we will invite all workshops’ participants and other stakeholders involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of tax crimes. The conference will provide a platform for professionals specialised in tax crime matters to learn about the findings of the research project and contribute to the formulation of recommendations to enhance capabilities in the fight against tax crimes.

Anyone interested in receiving more information about the project or organising a training event or workshop to disseminate findings and toolkits of the PROTAX project can contact the project coordinator, Prof. Umut Turksen.

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