Contest Announced to Develop an "Honor Code" for Tax Inspectors
From the first of May, the Federal Tax Service will be accepting applications for a contest which seeks to create a "Code of Behavior and Ethics for Tax Inspectors." Submissions are limited to those consulting companies which meet minimum experience requirements on the Russian market and in dealing with tax inspections. More information is available from the Tax Service website at www.nalog.ru.
It is interesting that the contest is being financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development which created a loan for the "modernization of the Tax Service" in 2003. The amount of prize money to be paid has not been disclosed.
According to Glavbukh magazine, "… for those who will undertake this work, it is necessary to analyze Russian and foreign normative documents regulating the behavior of officials, and on the basis of this develop, 'taking into account the specificity of the work of the tax bodies of the Russian Federation,' general requirements for the behavior of the employees of the Federal Tax Service. This includes both "on and off duty" activities. According to those who are commissioning this work, in this way will it be possible to provide a fair and impartial attitude towards the tax payer."
Such projects, while being progressive and liberal, are often questionable as to weather they will yield any substantial, positive results. Unfortunately, in practice the majority of tax inspectors adopt a more and more disparaging attitude towards taxpayers and correcting this current state of affairs will be a complex issue. It will be necessary not only to write such an "Honor Code" for tax inspectors, but to make it enforceable and of actual use to taxpayers in the event of tax disputes.