Tax administrations and capacity building: A collective challenge



Tax cooperation has now reached unprecedented levels. Much work has been and is being done to assist developing countries in building their tax capacity. In February 2016 the the IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank proposed to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors that they develop a joint tax platform and recommend mechanisms to ensure effective implementation of technical assistance programmes. This report seeks to complement this work by offering a view from the tax administration community. Specifically, the report is based on a survey of members of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), which was formed in 2002 as a venue for cooperation between revenue bodies, with participation from 46 jurisdictions. This study concludes that:

  • international cooperation is of strategic importance to tax administrations;
  • FTA member countries play a key role in supporting capacity building;
  • the way donor tax administrations organise for capacity building influences the achievement of meaningful outcomes and efficiencies;
  • the increased demand for capacity building and the scarcity of knowledge and skills mean that tax administrations must work smarter in delivering assistance;
  • the value and application of a common approach to capacity building assistance by donor tax administrations merits further exploration.

The report makes four recommendations to guide the early efforts of the FTA and its member countries:

  1. The FTA and its members should adopt a common tax administration capacity building framework.
  2. The FTA and its members should help strengthen domestic efforts in capacity building by seeking to apply a ‘whole-of-government’ approach in their jurisdictions.
  3. The FTA and its members should participate in the development of a knowledge sharing platform.
  4. The FTA should establish a capacity building network to connect the work of others.


OECD. (2016). Tax administrations and capacity building: A collective challenge. Paris: OECD.