Collection of taxes has always been a main driver for having registries and means of identifying people, companies and properties.
5,000 years ago the Egyptians made the first known census in order to effectively collect taxes.
As reported on the Data Value Talk blog, the Netherlands have had 200 years of family names thanks to Napoleon and the higher cause of collecting taxes.
Today the taxman goes cross boarder and wants to help with international data quality as examined in the post Know Your Foreign Customer. The US FATCA regulation is about collecting taxes from activities abroad and as said on the Trillium blog: Data Quality is The Core Enabler for FATCA Compliance.
My guess is that this is only the beginning of a tax based opportunity for having better data quality in relation to international data.
In a tax agenda for the European Union it is said: “As more citizens and companies today work and operate across the EU’s borders, cooperation on taxation has become increasingly important.”.
The EU has a program called FISCALIS in the making. Soon we not only have to identify Americans doing something abroad but practically everyone taking part in the globalization.
For that we all need comprehensive accessibility to the wealth of global reference data through “cutting-edge IT systems” (a FISCALIS choice of wording).
I am working on that right now: