Project Case Study
Studying the development of IT systems in tax administrations
Using different countries' experiences to inform future tax projects
Although many developing countries have automated their tax administration systems partially or completely, success in terms of improved efficiency and transparency has been mixed. Nobody had ever analysed why results were so mixed across different countries, or how the approach to automation could be supported systematically to improve results. With donors and beneficiary governments increasingly interested in learning lessons around this issue, we were commissioned by KfW, the German development bank, to conduct a global study which analysed automation in terms of the different systems being used, and the approach of beneficiary governments, donors and international finance institutions.
Phase I of the study covered 14 different countries across Africa, Asia and South America. Phase II followed this by focusing on four countries – Peru, Senegal, Mozambique and Swaziland – in much more detail. These were selected on the basis of their divergence of their economies and governments and approaches to automation. The final report culminated in a series of evidence-based recommendations for donors and beneficiary governments involved in automating in tax administration.
The study provides a wealth of information that will lead to a much more systematic approach to ensuring a successful outcome to tax administration automation efforts in developing countries. The work is considered ground-breaking by international finance institutions and donors and received a special commendation from the IMF for its quality and comprehensiveness.
“The product is of a high standard and is likely to be very helpful to the tax and development world. This is by far the most comprehensive report on IT in tax administration I have seen and is long overdue.”
KfW and IMF