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OECD | Heads of tax administration agree global actions to meet the current economic and administrative challenges

Tax administrations are playing a critical role as governments deal with the economic recovery from COVID-19 following an unprecedented global crisis. Today, senior officials from the 53 members of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration, which includes all OECD and G20 members, agreed an ambitious agenda for the next year, focused on enhancing resilience and tax certainty as well as the digital transformation of tax administrations.

The Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) held its virtual plenary meeting on 7-8 December 2020 bringing together tax commissioners from across the globe and representatives from international organisations and regional tax administration bodies. They met to discuss a variety of tax administration issues including responses to the global pandemic, emerging risks, digital transformation and tax certainty.

FTA members agreed:

  • To improve the resilience and agility of tax administrations globally to respond to crises, including through collaboration on new ways of working, the development and use of new IT tools, and different working arrangements.
  • To develop a roadmap in early 2021 for the digital service transformation of tax administrations building on the vision for Tax Administration 3.0 published at the Plenary. This roadmap will aim to identify priority work on core elements of this vision, such as digital identity, e-invoicing and secure mechanisms for the real-time sharing of information across borders.
  • To ramp up work on tax certainty, including through moving the International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP) from a pilot phase to an established programme for the co-ordinated assessment of multinational enterprise groups’ transfer pricing risks.
  • To bring together senior FTA leaders in the spring of 2021 to consider collective FTA support for capacity building in developing countries, in particular around the digitalisation and the further development of the joint OECD/UNDP Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative.

“I am very proud of how tax authorities responded to the emerging COVID-19 crisis, working individually and co-operatively, and at great pace, to improve our individual and collective responses. The programme of work that we have agreed today, which builds on our achievements over this difficult year, will help us emerge from the crisis stronger, more resilient and more agile”, said Bob Hamilton, Chair of the FTA and Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency. “Our collective work and sharing of best practices will take us to the next level, which is essential to meet the needs and expectations of citizens, businesses and governments around the world.”

“Learning the lessons from the crisis, where tax administrations played a pivotal role, will be critical during the recovery period and in building future resilience”, said Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. “The pandemic has also accelerated thinking about the use of digital technology and tools, including how digitalisation might lead to fundamental changes in the administration of tax as set out in the FTA’s paper on Tax Administration 3.0. Our collective work on the steps to realise this vision may be an important legacy of this crisis.”


  • Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration | pascal.saint-amans[at]
  • Bob Hamilton, Chair of the FTA | FTA-Chair[at]
  • Achim Pross, Head of the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division | Achim.Pross[at]

Compliments of the OECD.