The Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), created in 2002, is a unique body bringing together Commissioners from 53 advanced and emerging tax administrations from across the globe, including all OECD and G20 members.  Together FTA member administrations raise over EUR 11.7 trillion a year to fund public services and to deliver government objectives. Our vision is to create a forum through which Commissioners can identify, discuss and influence relevant global trends and develop new ideas to increase the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration, reducing burdens and improving tax compliance and tax certainty. We do this through coming together in collaborative networks, through the delivery of time-limited and action-oriented projects and pilots, as well as through the publication of a wide range of reports aimed at sharing knowledge and developing new approaches for better tax administration.

Tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 emergency will affect the lives of many people around the world and governments worldwide are taking multifaceted actions to support their citizens, businesses and the provision of vital public services. Among these actions are measures being taken by tax administrations to ease the burdens on taxpayers and to support businesses and individuals with cash flow problems, with difficulties in meeting tax reporting or payment obligations or otherwise facing hardship, while continuing to raise vital revenue to fund public services.

The OECD is compiling data, information, analysis and recommendations regarding the health, economic, financial and societal challenges posed by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit the dedicated page for a full suite of coronavirus-related information.

Reference documents developed by the FTA

In order to support tax administrations in their efforts to support their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FTA has developed a number of reference documents:

  • A global reference document which sets out actions that FTA tax administrations are currently taking to support taxpayers. These include measures to address cash-flow concerns, difficulties in meeting reporting and payment deadlines and communication initiatives. The intention of this document, which will be updated on a regular basis, is to assist administrations in the consideration and development of their domestic measures.
  • A joint document in collaboration with CIAT and IOTA setting out business continuity considerations (also available in Frenchin the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This document, which is intended to assist tax administrations in their domestic deliberations and planning, is based on input from across the membership of the three tax administration organisations. It recognises that the potential duration and severity of the current crisis brings unique challenges in managing the many different elements involved in ensuring continuity of vital tax administration functions as well as the safety of staff and taxpayers. 
  • Flyer on taxpayer measures: 10 categories of measure that tax administrations may wish to consider adopting to ease taxpayers' tax burden and support businesses during this period.
  • Flyer on business continuity: A summary of strategies that can be adopted by tax administrations to ensure continuity of critical activities such as the capability to receive tax payments, process tax returns and provide remote assistance to taxpayers.

Other actions taken by the FTA

In order to help tax administrations join-up as effectively as possible, the FTA has also:

  • Brought together officials virtually from across the global FTA membership to discuss measures to support individual taxpayers and businesses and to ensure continuity of tax administration operations both domestically and internationally.
  • Launched a new discussion forum to support real-time communication on COVID-19 responses on the Knowledge Sharing Platform1. This allows all tax administrations globally, including developing country tax administrations and regional tax organisations, to share knowledge and experience.
  • The FTA Chair has also issued a statement, set out below, encouraging FTA Commissioners to work together in appropriate circumstances to alleviate potential adverse tax consequences for taxpayers whohave to remain temporarily in a location other than that where they usually work or reside as a result of measures taken to contain COVID-19.   This work will complement that already undertaken by the OECD Secretariat on addressing a number of tax treaty related issues through recently issued guidance and recommendations

1 Developed and maintained by the Canada Revenue Agency, the Knowledge Sharing Platform is an online platform on which tax administrations can share information and communicate with one another.


Statement by the FTA Chair, Hans Christian Holte, on alleviating burdens on cross-border employees impacted by travel restrictions

"To help contain the spread of COVID-19, governments are taking a number of exceptional measures, including placing significant restrictions on cross-border travel as well as strict quarantine requirements. As a result, in some countries a large number of people are having to remain temporarily in a location other than that where they usually work or reside. I welcome the guidance and recommendations issued by the OECD Secretariat which should address a large number of treaty related issues that have been raised. However, as there can be additional issues that may require actions by tax administrations, I have also written to Forum on Tax Administration Commissioners asking that we work together to alleviate adverse tax consequences for taxpayers in appropriate circumstances. Where the facts of a situation warrant, I would encourage the consideration of relief through targeted bilateral or multilateral arrangements, coordinated unilateral measures, or other arrangements, and in conjunction with our tax policy counterparts. The guiding principle, shared across the membership of the FTA, should be that the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis call for an exceptional level of coordination and cooperation between countries to mitigate cross-border impacts on employees and employers that are beyond their control."

Recently released

New OECD self-assessment tool to help tax administrations tackle tax debt and reduce administrative burdens

23/12/2019 - The OECD has published two self-assessment maturity models on tax debt management and the reduction of compliance burdens, both critical areas for successful tax administration. Maturity models set out descriptions of capabilities and performance in a particular function or set of activities across a number of levels of increasing maturity, in the case of these models from an emerging to an aspirational level.

ICAP 2.0

The International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP) is a voluntary programme that uses CbC Reports and other information to facilitate open and co-operative multilateral engagements between MNE groups and tax administrations, with a view to providing early tax certainty and assurance. A second ICAP pilot (ICAP 2.0) including a greater number of participating tax administrations was announced at the 12th FTA Plenary meeting held in Santiago, Chile on 26-28 March 2019.

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