Tax administrations are investing significant resources in the development of e-services and digital solutions and are embracing opportunities for fast tracking digital transformation to improve their services, reduce burdens, and improve tax compliance, according to a new OECD report.

The latest edition of Tax Administration 2021 sets out key performance indicators for 59 tax administrations from the OECD and other advanced and emerging economies which together collect EUR 12.3 trillion of revenue annually. The report highlights a further shift to digitalisation and the provision of digital services, something that has proven to be invaluable for tax administrations during the COVID-19 crisis as governments’ introduced thousands of emergency tax measures.

“Tax administrations’s efforts to move more of their processes online has not only enhanced service delivery, reduced burdens and improved compliance, but it has also made us more resilient”, said Bob Hamilton, Chair of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration and Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency.

“Leading a tax administration myself, it became immediately clear that digital service delivery would be of significant help in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our digital readiness allowed us to quickly take on new roles to assist in the provision of wider government support and ensured that we could continue to deliver effective services to taxpayers during times of social distancing and remote working.”

According to the report, electronic filing of tax returns and the electronic transfer of payments are becoming the norm, with over 9 out of 10 business taxpayers filing their returns electronically in 2019. For personal income tax return filers, this figure exceeded 80%.

“With over 1.1 billion contacts via online taxpayer accounts in 2019, we can clearly see the impact that the increasing e-administration of tax is having on the efficiency and effectiveness of tax administrations globally and their interactions with taxpayers”, said Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration.

The report also shows that tax administrations are increasingly using large and integrated data sets, with more than 80% using analytics tools and techniques to improve risk management and compliance. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly supporting tax administration processes and services, with close to 75% of tax administrations reporting on the use of cutting-edge techniques to exploit data in ways that free up tax administration resources to be deployed to other areas. These technologies are also allowing tax administrations to run services closer to 24/7, often driven by the use of digital assistants such as “chatbots”, tools already used by around 50% of the administrations covered in the report.

Tax Administration 2021, the ninth edition in the series, provides internationally comparative data on aspects of tax systems and their administration, and includes a variety of examples to highlight recent innovations and good practices. It aims to assist administrations, governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders in considering how and where improvements can be made in the efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration.

To access the report and data, visit


(Source: OECD Forum on Tax Administration)

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