Researchers at the University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, are to investigate tax and evasion in the EU.
The €5m Horizon 2020 COFFERS (Combating Fiscal Fraud and Empowering Regulators) project will involve researchers in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Turkey and Czech Republic, and will seek to discover how much tax revenue is being lost through avoidance and evasion.
The team at the Kemmy Business School in Limerick are focusing on the role of expert professional networks, tax advisers, wealth managers and the factors which can lead them to take ethical or aggressive approaches to their tax work.
According to Professor Sheila Killian of UL Kemmy Business School, researchers have in the past sought to address this problem in various single jurisdictions, but rarely in a large-scale internationally co-ordinated work plan.
She said: “The COFFERS Horizon 2020 funding gives us an unprecedented opportunity to address this in a really holistic way.”
Part of the research will involve looking at the work of tax professionals, and the blurred line between avoidance and evasion.
Killian added: “We are interested in what drives that behaviour, and how it varies in different cultures and situations. This issue is also of great interest to accounting and law firms, and many of the largest accounting firms have offered their support to our work.
“Together with the other partners in our work, we aim to offer comprehensive policy options to address this problem.”