Vienna, 20 September 2012 Tax Governance – The role of tax administrations in a networking world Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter opens two-day interdisciplinary conference on the subject "Tax Governance" at the Vienna University of Economics and Business

"Precisely in times such as these, when we are obliged across Europe to consolidate our national budgets, it is important to explain to our citizens what is being done with their hard-earned taxes. Our long-term objective is to inform Austrian tax payers openly what their tax contributions are being used for, so as to motivate them to comply with tax rules," stressed Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter at the start of her opening speech to the conference held at the Vienna University of Economics and Business on the topic "Tax Governance – The future role of tax administrations in a networking society".

The two-day collaborative event organized by the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law based at the Vienna Economics and Business University and the Federal Ministry of Finance is the first cross-disciplinary conference on the topics of "Tax Crime and Sanctions", "Tax Evasion and Aggressive Tax Planning", "Enhanced Relationship" and "Voluntary Compliance". "At international level, the relationship between taxpayers and tax authorities is a subject of intensive debate. A whole raft of initiatives are being set up in order to improve tax compliance. For the first time, these issues are being examined at a global academic conference involving a whole range of disciplines such as law, business studies and psychology. Thus this conference is a pioneering project," informs Michael Lang, Professor at the Economics and Business University and head of the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law.

"It is a central concern of the Austrian tax administration to influence citizens and Austrian companies in their compliance on a sustained positive basis. For years, through campaigns such as "fair play", as well as through collaborative events with the Economics and Business University on "Tax and Compliance", we have taken active steps to communicate our message to as broad as possible a section of the population and thereby to establish a climate of reciprocal trust and understanding," declared Fekter.

On the academic involvement with the topic, as Michael Lang, Head of the Institute, is pleased to report, "After the conference, the contributions by leading academics from various disciplines on the subject of "Tax Governance" will be published in leading specialist journals worldwide."

"The conference, which will be attended by c. 140 participants from a total of 29 countries, shows that despite austerity measures, in the field of tax governance we are on a successful path towards internationalization and cross-border cooperation in the context of an ever-more-efficient tax administration," concluded Fekter.