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January 24, 2020

OECD publishes self-assessment tools for tax administrations

By Joe Pickard

The OECD has published two self-assessment maturity models on tax debt management and the reduction of compliance burdens to aid tax administrations.

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. These models are intended to help tax administrations globally to assess their current performance and to consider future possible reforms, paving the way to more seamless and frictionless tax administration.

Across the 53 members of the Forum on Tax Administration outstanding collectible debt is in the region of €820bn ($904bn) with significant variation between jurisdictions.

Belgian Debt Management Agency administrator general Tom Boelaert, who led work on the Tax Debt Management Maturity Model, said: “Tax debt management plays a crucial role in ensuring the effective and fair operation of the tax system. We should therefore always challenge ourselves to do better.

“Within my own Agency, this new maturity model has facilitated frank and in-depth conversations about our future direction. From comments we received from other administrations as we developed this maturity model, I am sure that it will be a useful new tool for all tax administrations."

HMRC first permanent secretary and chief executive Jim Hara, who led work on the Tax Compliance Burden Maturity Model, said: “Understanding and addressing burdens is not straightforward and depends on a number of elements, including a solid strategy, a culture of minimising burdens and the confidence and expertise to engage with policy makers.

“This maturity model can help tax administrations at all stages of development in identifying areas of strength and where improvements might be desirable."

The new maturity models were developed by tax administrations and have been subject to piloting by over 20 jurisdictions, including a number of developing countries.

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