Tax Administration matters for firm productivity
The VoxDev article – Tax Administration Matters for Firm Productivity - elaborates, for the wider public, the essence of the the IMF working paper co-authored by Era Dabla-Norris, Munawer Khwaja, Duncan Cleary and Florian Misch. The research, using TADAT assessment scores from about 20 countries, and World Bank enterprise survey data, shows that the quality of service provided by tax administrations has a significant effect on productivity of small and young firms. It underscores the point that tax administrations that provide good services, not only help revenue collection but also play a role in the development of SMEs and start-ups.
An Interview with the Chief of the TADAT Secretariat
The Head of the TADAT Secretariat, Justin Zake, recently spoke with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) about TADAT and its global impact. Read the full interview here.
Performance Assessment Reports Published
The TADAT Secretariat continues to receive permission from country authorities to publish the results from TADAT assessments. Please find the publicly available PARs here.
European Commission Signs a Contribution to TADAT Trust Fund
During the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank (October 7-9, 2016), the European Commission signed a US$2.2 million contribution to the TADAT Trust Fund. Please see the complete press release here.More
How the Sierra Leone National Revenue Authority (NRA) prepared for the August 2016 TADAT assessment led by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department
During July 2016, the NRA took the initiative to conduct TADAT training for its senior and middle management staff. The 33 participants took a mock TADAT exam, conducted a mock assessment, and prepared a mock performance assessment report. The initiative was championed by Mr. Alfred Akibo-Betts, Deputy Commissioner, Domestic Tax Department (DTD). The NRA’s preparations provided a participatory, open, and transparent environment that increased the capacity of its officials to take a critical look at the what, why, and how of tax administration in Sierra Leone. This preparatory work greatly facilitated the formal August 2016 TADAT assessment. Please see the complete press release here.
IMF Press release: Natural Resource Wealth, Revenue Mobilization and TADAT Trust Funds
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its development partners launched new phases of the Managing Natural Resource Wealth (MNRW-TF) and the Revenue Mobilization (RM-TF) trust funds during the annual steering committee meetings held in Washington from June 14–15, 2016. More
Further, the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) June 16, 2016 steering committee meeting discussed the implementation successes and ongoing development of the tool and agreed the 2016/17 strategic work and operational program.
Read the entire press release on the IMF website.
Leading Effective TADAT Assessments
The workshop developed by the Training Resource Group Inc and customized for TADAT, was attended by 11 trained assessors representing various organization: IMF; IMF-CAPTAC; the World Bank; GOPA mbH, a GIZ-funded project; Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany; the Norwegian Tax Administration; State Secretariat for Economic Affairs—SECO; United States Agency for International Development; European Commission—DG ECOFIN and DG-TAXUD; and Tax Administration of Kosovo. Participants were exposed to well-tested and proven approaches to managing missions by Training Resource Group Inc.—TRG facilitators Graeme Frelick and Joni Herman. Mr. Justin Zake and Ms. Irina Kouropatkina from the TADAT Secretariat brought to the attention of participants the practical aspects of TADAT assessments, while participation of Mr. Berlin Msiska, Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority was invaluable in providing a TADAT assessment recipient’s perspective as well as how to effectively present assessment results to the authorities. The participants rated the course highly with 100% overall satisfaction rating it 5 out of 5.
Review the highlights of the workshop on Storify.
TADAT Training Workshop for USAID
The TADAT Secretariat conducted a Training workshop for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officials on December 16-18, 2015. It was delivered by the TADAT Secretariat, with some guest lecturers from the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF. The workshop was very interactive. Participants were exposed to the TADAT assessment framework (outlined in the TADAT Field Guide) including TADAT’s technical design and content, reflections on tax administration good practices, the scoring methodology for each Performance Outcome Area and relevant indicators. More
The 3-day TADAT training workshop concluded with the TADAT online exam. Of the 22 participants, 11 eligible candidates took the TADAT exam and passed successfully. 10 participants are qualified (based on the TADAT criteria) to be given “Trained TADAT Assessor” certificates.Less
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center (METAC) held a workshop on the recently launched Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) in Amman, Jordan from December 9 – 11, 2015. The workshop was held in association with the TADAT Secretariat in Washington DC and was attended by senior representatives of tax authorities and finance ministries from the METAC countries. In total, 23 delegates from 6 countries attended. The countries represented were: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and the West Bank and Gaza. More
The workshop provided a detailed introduction to the TADAT methodology illustrated by the practical examples and reflections on tax administration good practices. In the three days prior to the regional workshop, the TADAT Secretariat ran a dedicated national workshop for 23 senior staff from the Jordanian authorities. This was funded by USAID Jordan Fiscal Reform Project and supported by METAC, and represents a good example of inter-agency coordination. The lively discussion during both workshops indicated a high level of interest in the use of the TADAT approach. Delegates also had the opportunity to sit the TADAT assessors’ examination.Less
At the request of the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and in coordination with the IMF’s East AFRITAC, the TADAT Secretariat conducted a TADAT blended learning workshop in Kigali during December 1 - 4, 2015. Twenty-five officials from the RRA and four (of which three were sponsored by IMF East AFRITAC) from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) participated in the workshop. It was led by Muyangwa Muyangwa, resident tax administration advisor (IMF- East AFRITAC) and included the TADAT secretariat staff and a representative from the US Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance. This training was designed to prepare both organizations to use the TADAT methodology in their performance monitoring frameworks. The Commissioner General for RRA, Mr. Richard Tusabe, provided a keynote address and informed the participants that his tax administration had made a decision to start using TADAT framework as tool to monitor the performance of the organization. More
The Commissioner General noted that the members of staff who will be trained will be given the mandate to follow and monitor each specific POA in their performance monitoring framework. He further noted that from the TADAT assessment, conducted earlier in the year, RRA was made aware of the challenges facing the revenue authority and had made a deliberate decision to concentrate on creating a taxpayer database that is complete, accurate, and reliable. At the end of the blended learning workshop 24 participants took part in the online TADAT examination; 21 passed the examination successfully.Less
On November 18, 2015 an internationally supported Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) was released for public use at an event hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The event was attended by members of the TADAT Steering Committee, IMF and World Bank staff, Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Secretariat staff, tax experts, academics, government officials, donors and representatives of professional tax associations and civil society. In addition, it was streamed live on the internet to a global audience. In his opening statement, Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department Mr. Vitor Gaspar emphasized the important role that TADAT will play in the context of the domestic resource mobilization efforts and institution building More
“At the heart of the matter is good tax administration. Raising enough revenue is crucial to secure macroeconomic stability. Raising enough revenue is crucial to finance public spending that supports growth and wider social objectives. This was the consensus at the Addis Ababa conference on Financing for Development in July… and is well set out in the new Sustainable Development Goals … tax administration is a major interface between the state and its citizens. Building a fair and professional tax administration is thus an important part of wider state building. This entails developing trusted and effective institutions more generally.”
Various speakers at the event conveyed number of messages that can be summarized as follows: (1) TADAT is timely, technically sound, and a much needed tool which was developed in a collaborative manner and can be used as a platform to enhance further collaboration amongst all stakeholders; (2) TADAT is suitable for countries at all stages of development and income levels; (3) TADAT can play an important role in contributing to Domestic Resource Mobilization, Financing for Development and other global initiatives; (4) TADAT is about taking stock of where the tax administration systems is, and prioritizing and sequencing the implementation of improvements; and (5) TADAT has to be conducted by well qualified and experienced persons.
In her closing remarks, the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director, Ms. Carla Grasso, made the following statement: “We at the Fund are fully committed to playing our part in this renewed emphasis on improving countries’ performance on domestic revenue mobilization. We believe that we have an important role. But we are only part of the story. What is needed is strong collaboration between all those interested in this area. This will allow us to bring to bear our differing expertise, perspectives and comparative advantages. Here we can take great encouragement from the TADAT experience.” Ms. Grasso declared the TADAT released for public use.Less
As of September 2015, 91 individuals representing 33 countries from all Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe, and Western Hemisphere regions completed the training and passed a proctored exam qualifying them as Trained TADAT Assessors. More
One hundred and sixty two (162) individuals, including participants of the first two face-to-face training workshops in Washington DC and London, UK, registered for training. Throughout the development stage, the Secretariat was collaborating with IMF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICD), which supported the Secretariat in instructional design and included TADAT in the use of a proven online course delivery platform edX, an online learning consortium governed by MIT and Harvard. An online learning course, which was launched on May 21, 2015 and ran through August 31, 2015 provided training that was globally accessible and free to course participants. It allowed candidates to learn at their own pace, with access to 12 modules addressing each of the nine POAs plus an introductory session, and modules on how to prepare for an assessment and how to write the final Report. Through the video lectures, practice questions, and case studies the course attempted to strike a balance between the rigor required to have a thorough understanding of the Field Guide and the TADAT methodology, and the simplicity needed to be easily comprehensible and user friendly. An open-book evaluation test has been designed to assess candidates’ understanding of the TADAT methodology and the Field Guide. Hosted on the same platform (edX), the one-hour exam consisted of 20 randomly generated questions covering all modules of the course. The passing grade (calibrated during the face-to-face workshops) was set at 75 percent. TADAT Training for Assessors was very well received and generated a lot of positive feedback. One of the participants provided the following comment “…I loved the exam. It is definitely not easy; nor is it too difficult either. It is just right…, I felt that anyone who qualifies in it, will be reasonably competent enough to join a TADAT assessment team and deliver.”Less
Malawi Revenue Authority —“The TADAT assessment was an eye opener …”
Following completion of the TADAT ‘Performance Assessment Report’, a taskforce was appointed to devise mechanisms that lead to the attainment of good international tax administration practices.
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Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority - "TADAT has been a valuable experience"
TADAT identified some tax administration issues that required the FRCA’s attention, and they have been taken onboard. The FRCA recognized that a coordinated project management approach was needed to address these issues in a systematic way.
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The United States Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance hosted a TADAT Training workshop in Washington DC on July 8-10, 2015. The workshop brought together 21 officials from the US Treasury, IRS and USAID as well as officials from the state revenue services of Iowa and Delaware. More
It was delivered by the TADAT Secretariat, with some guest lecturers from the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF. A blended learning approach, which combines face to face lectures with online material, was used.
The workshop was very interactive. Participants were exposed to the TADAT assessment framework (outlined in the TADAT Field Guide) including TADAT’s technical design and content, reflections on tax administration good practices, the scoring methodology for each Performance Outcome Area and relevant indicators.
The group exercises, developed around real country case scenarios, allowed participants to apply the methodology in a practical hands-on way. Many lively discussions and reflections generated by participants and moderated by presenters helped connect the methodology to the real world experience.
In the course evaluation, participants scored the course, its content, relevance, delivery and discussions predominantly “5”s (more than three-fourth of the participants), a few “4”s and only one “3”; “5” being the highest score. All participants passed the TADAT Assessor exam successfully and have joined the family of trained TADAT assessors.Less
TADAT at Duke University More
On July 13, 2015 Munawer Khwaja, Technical Assistance Advisor,representing the TADAT Secretariat introduced TADAT to the participants of the International Tax Program (ITP) at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.Participants were revenue officials and tax policy experts from many different countries, including Zambia - a TADAT pilot country. The presentation was received with much enthusiasm and generated a lot of questions and discussions. This was also an opportunity to discuss possible research collaboration between Duke and the TADAT secretariat. Less
Direction Générale des Impôts, Côte d’Ivoire More
Following a request from the Minister for Budget in Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Abdourahmane Cisse, a team of assessors conducted a performance assessment of the Ivorian tax administration (Direction Générale des Impôts or DGI) in the first half of June 2015.This was the first TADAT assessment in a francophone country, the first in West Africa, and the first to be conducted entirely in French. The assessment provided useful lessons that would help fine-tune the Field Guide to make it globally applicable, by adjusting to special legal traditions prevalent in francophone and Latin systems. For a country that is recovering from ten years of civil war, the tax administration showed strong performance in achieving fiscal targets, internal controls, independent dispute resolution mechanism and transparency in publication of results and plans. However, the assessment also pointed out weaknesses in DGI’s performance in several Performance Outcome areas. Less
Tax Administration of Kosovo More
A pilot assessment of the system of Tax Administration in Kosovo (TAK) was undertaken in May 2015 on the request of the TAK Director General. This was the first in a small, developing, European country.TAK was built from scratch after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the establishment of the UNMIK administration in Kosovo. TAK has a robust dispute resolution system, solid external oversight and provides extensive information to educate taxpayers and support voluntary compliance. Significant challenges, however, remain, and TAK will need to build a stronger compliance culture across all segments of the taxpayer population. The procedures for monitoring return filing and payment of major taxes is weak. There is limited analysis of the impact of compliance activities and weak arrears management. TAK will use the results of the assessment for discussions with development partners on where to prioritize reforms. Less
TADAT Assessor Training More
Prior to going live, the entire course was beta-tested by tax experts from the several development institutions and tax administrations. The feedback received was used to fine-tune the course before it went live.
The TADAT Exam, which will be proctored virtually, has also been tested in a dry run and is now available. Candidates completing the course can now schedule the exam with ProctorU (an online proctoring service), for a time convenient to them. Passing the exam will allow the candidate to be certified as a TADAT assessorLess
Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) TADAT Results Dissemination Workshop More
Outside the usual practice of presenting the draft TADAT Performance Assessment Report to the tax administration senior management. MRA executive management invited its middle management staff to participate in the exit meeting. These included Stations Managers of the 16 Domestic Taxes stations across Malawi and other divisions at headquarters. A total of 52 participants attend the exit meeting.
Following the presentation by the assessment team, a cross section of participants noted that the assessment was an eye opener that provided a platform through which for the first time they interacted with each other to address their common challenges across their different areas of operation in the organization. Arising from the deliberations of the workshop the Commissioner General appointed a Taskforce chaired by the Commissioner – Domestic Taxes to come up with strategies on how best to address the weakness besetting MRA. The members of the Taskforce were drawn from both the operating and support divisions. Closing the exit meeting the Commissioner General observed that the reforms that will be implemented following the assessment represented a rebirth of MRA.Less
Management Conference of the Mozambique Tax Authority More
Following the conclusion of the sixth TADAT assessment pilot in Mozambique, the authorities invited the TADAT Secretariat (TS) to a one day annual management conference of the Mozambique Tax Authority (TA). Mr. Msiska the Commissioner General of Zambia Revenue Authority representing the TS shared Zambia’s experience in leveraging the TADAT assessment results in setting reform priorities and their sequencing.
In attendance were all TA senior management, regional and provincial management staff. Others included the IMF Coordinator for Technical Assistance in Mozambique and representatives of the co-operating partners supporting the TA’s tax reforms.Less
The Department for International Development (DfID) hosted a TADAT training workshop in London (March 3- 4, 2015) at which the TADAT Secretariat made presentations on the TADAT framework. The workshop brought together 18 tax administration experts from the European Commission (4), Germany (2), Japan (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Switzerland (2), United Kingdom (2), and World Bank (5).
The workshop was very interactive and lived up to its expectations. Participants were exposed to the TADAT assessment methodology (outlined in the TADAT Field Guide), and discussions included: the TADAT’s technical design and content, reflections on tax administration good practices, ease of the methodology’s use by assessors and country officials, and lessons learned during the completed pilot assessments (Zambia, Norway, South Africa and Paraguay). The TADAT Secretariat invited participants to provide additional comments on the tool and its relevance through an online questionnaire posted for public comment on www.tadat.org.
In closing the two-day workshop, Mr. Bill Williamson, Director - Tax Capacity Building
at Her Majesty Revenue and Customs noted that, “… through initiatives like TADAT
we would make a collective improvement to the wider tax communities …”, and that
his organization was, “… delighted to be involved with TADAT and working alongside
DfID colleagues in designing and looking at TADAT as a new innovation … and a new
step … where capacity building could be a success.”
TADAT Workshop in London - Video summary More
The TADAT Secretariat participated in a Tax for Development Workshop organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Zambia in collaboration with the Zambia Revenue Authority, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The overall aim of the workshop was to enhance general tax administration capacity of the participants. In attendance were 35 tax administration experts drawn from Ghana Revenue Authority, Mozambique Revenue Authority, Norwegian Tax Administration (NTA), Tanzania Revenue Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority and Zambia Revenue Authority. Others include representatives of NORAD from their Mozambique, Norway and Zambia Offices.
The workshop had to major themes: enhanced regional collaboration, and a holistic approach to tax administration diagnostics using the TADAT framework. Whilst opening the workshop, Mr. Berlin Msiska the host and Commissioner General of ZRA, informed the participants that his organization was proud to have being the first tax administration to be assessed under the TADAT methodology. He further noted that from the results of the assessment, “… the diagnostic tool helped the Authority identify bottlenecks to effective and efficient operations …” and that the “… TADAT tool identified areas of weaknesses…”
During the group discussions representatives from Zambia observed that the TADAT assessment made them realize that some procedures and practices were inefficient and resulted into high taxpayer compliance costs. The representatives from Norway informed the meeting that Norway Tax Administration (NTA) supported TADAT because of its potential as diagnostic tool and its unique ability to make comparisons across countries in a more qualitative way. As such NTA management resolved to share the results of the TADAT pilot conducted on their tax administration with their Nordic region partners for benchmarking purposes.
At the close of the workshop, participants concluded that TADAT is a tool that should
be embraced by all tax administrations to help them better executes their mandate
of collecting government revenue and administering the tax law.
With agreement of the Mozambique authorities, a sixth TADAT pilot mission was conducted in the Autoridade Tributária de Moçambique—AT (the tax administration) during the period March 9 - 24, 2015. The Mozambique TADAT pilot assessment was the first in a Portuguese speaking country that helped test its technical design and methodology in this environment.
At the start of the mission, the assessment team conducted a half-day workshop to familiarize of the AT’s staff with the TADAT framework. In welcoming the assessment team, the AT’s President, Mr. Rosario Fernandes informed the mission that a key interest was to identify and understand the tax administration’s weaknesses. He assured the team of his full support and that of his executive management and staff who he implored to be open during the discussions and assessment process. The assessment team also visited local offices in Maputo and Nampula to verify processes and procedures and as a reinforcement of the evidence-based approach of the TADAT methodology.
In a close-out meeting at the end of the mission, Mr. Fernandes welcomed the findings
and immediately established a committee to follow-up and prepare plans to mitigate
the identified weaknesses. A workshop for over 200 AT managers is being organized
for April 9 - 11, 2015 at which the assessment’s findings will be discussed further.
Press Release by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority More
Workshop held on January 28-29, 2015, Washington, DC– A TADAT workshop bringing together 23 tax administration experts was held on January 28 to 29, 2015. The following countries/institutions were represented: Germany (1), Japan (1), World Bank (6) and the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD)—International Monetary Fund (16). The workshop was designed to: (i) familiarize participants, including those who will be involved in upcoming TADAT pilot missions, with the TADAT methodology outlined in the Draft Field Guide (FG); (ii) test the TADAT’s technical design, including its relevance, technical content and ease of use by assessors and country officials; (iii) test the approach to assessor training currently under development; and (iv) initiate wider consultation on the Draft FG. A similar workshop is scheduled for London during the first week of March 2015. The workshop lived up to or exceeded expectations. The two days were highly interactive, with discussions and reflection by all participants on tax administration good practices and refinements needed for the tool. In opening the workshop, Gerd Schwartz (as Co-Chair of the TADAT Steering Committee) emphasized the objectives of the workshop and urged participants to provide comments openly so that the tool is refined to a very high standard—which they subsequently did. These expectations were also echoed by Michael Keen (Deputy Director, FAD, also TADAT line-manager) in his presentation on the potential impact on tax administration systems of the TADAT. Participants found the technical design of the TADAT to be sound and the workshop very useful. At the closing, comments from participants acknowledged the strides made in developing a tool that can be used globally. Katherine Baer (Chief, FAD Revenue Administration Division 1), in closing the workshop, welcomed the opportunity to discuss the TADAT in an open and constructive manner, and noted that the experiences of the two days provided excellent feedback to help fine-tune the methodology before the November roll-out. She also indicated the need for other stakeholders to be included in the assessment process whilst in-country. These stakeholders include, e.g., Auditors General, whose activities include attestation to the operational efficiency of tax administrations and appropriate use of resources. On this issue, the TADAT Secretariat informed the participants that the Auditor General’s staff attended discussions during the South Africa pilot assessment mission.
TADAT Launch (Video) – The TADAT launch on February 5, 2014, inaugurated by IMF Deputy Managing Director, Ms. Minouche Shafik, with presentations by senior officials of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Acting Director, and Mr. Michael Keen, Deputy Director), the donor community (Ms. Tanja Ustvedt, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Tax Administration), pilot host country (Mr. Maimbo Nyanga, Director of Research and Planning, Zambia Revenue Authority) and the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (Mr. Socorro Velasquez, Deputy Secretary, CIAT).
TADAT at the GPEDC (Video) – Mr. David Kloeden, Unit Chief, introduces TADAT
in the context of a discussion on domestic revenue mobilization, at the first High-Level
Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC)
in México City, Mexico (April 15-16, 2014). be presented: (i) enhanced regional
collaboration and (ii) a holistic tax administration diagnostic assessment tool