Taxpayers have rights as well as responsibilities.
They are obliged to pay their tax due, in full and on time, as this is the only way governments can generate the funding to provide the public services on which everyone depends. In this sense, tax is part of the social contract of any civilised society.
The broad international commitment to transparency and accountability in tax matters should extend to the exercise of powers by tax authorities. Taxpayers, especially individuals and smaller businesses, may not be able to challenge the decisions or demands of their tax authority, or even to judge whether these are reasonable.
Tax authorities should be subject to full and open legal process. Given the asymmetric nature of the taxpayer’s relationship with the state, the rights of the taxpayer to reasonably challenge the tax authorities exercise of its powers should not be restricted by the costs of bringing such a challenge.
Taxpayers should have access to the support they need to engage properly with the tax system. Tax authorities should be sufficiently resourced to provide this support.