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2nd International Conference on Taxpayer Rights - Day 2

  • Ceremony Hall 1, LC Building, ground floor WU 1 Welthandelsplatz 1 Wien, Wien, 1020 Austria (map)

Program - March 14

Penalties and General Anti-Avoidance Rules
This panel will explore current research on the use of penalties and general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) in tax administration from the perspectives of legal and economic theory and taxpayer behavior.
What types of penalties and initiatives are effective deterrents of noncompliance?
Do automatic or strict liability penalties deter or increase noncompliance?
What safeguards should be in place before a penalty or GAAR is imposed or applied?
With respect to what penalties should the tax agency bear the burden of proof for justifying penalty imposition?
How does penalty administration affect taxpayers’ trust in the tax system?

Moderator: Professor Erich Kirchler • University of Vienna; Vienna, Austria


  • Christoph Kogler • Tilburg University; Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • Professor Luigi Mittone • University of Trento; Trento, Italy
  • Professor Rupert Sausgruber • Institute for Public Sector Economics, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Vienna, Austria
  • Christophe Waerzeggers • International Monetary Fund; Washington, DC, United States


The Role of Intergovernmental Actors in Furthering and Protecting
Taxpayer Rights: A Conversation
Today’s international tax landscape includes several actors that work across borders and are not aligned with any one government. Representatives from OECD, UN Panel of Tax Experts, etc. will discuss their roles in establishing, delineating, and protecting taxpayer rights.

Moderator: Professor Michael Lang • WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Vienna, Austria


  • Dr. Anette Kugelmüller-Pugh, Judge • Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof); Munich, Germany
  • John Peterson, Senior Advisor • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Paris, France
  • Professor Piergiorgio Valente, CFE (Confédération Fiscale Européenne) President • Link Campus University; Rome, Italy
  • Melchior Wathelet, Advocate-General • European Court of Justice; Luxembourg City, Luxembourg


Building Trust I: Transforming Cultures of Tax Agencies and Taxpayers
The culture, social norms, biases, and past and current experiences of both tax agency employees and taxpayers are key factors in achieving voluntary compliance. This panel will explore several aspects of tax agency and taxpayer culture. From the agency perspective, how does an agency transform itself from a “hunter” mentality to a more educational, collaborative approach? How does corruption (real or perceived) impact taxpayer norms of acceptable behavior?

Moderator: Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate • Washington, DC, United States


  • Professor Henk Elffers • Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement; Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Lotta Björklund Larsen, Research Fellow • Linköping University; Linköping, Sweden
  • John Njiraini, Commissioner General • Kenya Revenue Authority; Nairobi, Kenya
  • Dr. Attiya Waris • University of Nairobi Law School; Nairobi, Kenya


Building Trust II: Safeguards on Tax Agency Power
The manner in which a tax agency enforces the tax laws can impact taxpayers’ willingness to comply with those laws. This panel will explore what approaches, safeguards, and protections can enhance taxpayer trust in the tax agency and perceptions of procedural justice, including transparency and accountability, burden of proof, administrative appeals and mediation, and access to pre-assessment judicial review.

Moderator: Professor André Lareau • Laval University; Quebec, Canada


  • Diana Bernal • Procuradora de la Defensa del Contribuyente; Mexico City, Mexico
  • Professor Kristin Hickman • University of Minnesota Law School; Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Honorable Peter J. Panuthos, Chief Special Trial Judge • United States Tax Court; Washington, DC, United States

Closing Remarks

  • Nina E. Olson • National Taxpayer Advocate; Washington, DC, United States
  • Professor Michael Lang • WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Vienna, Austria

Download the brochure
For more information about the conference visit the website:

Earlier Event: March 13
Il Marzo della Signora Graziella
Later Event: March 17
Il Marzo della Signora Graziella