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Multinational focus on digital transformation and collaboration

Last updated 6 October 2022

Tax Commissioners from over 40 countries across the globe met in Sydney last week, together with international and Australian business representatives, at the 15th Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) Plenary, hosted by the ATO.

This is the first face-to-face meeting in three years, and also the first time a larger number of business representatives have been invited to this forum.

Participants recognised that there are many tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the global economy, but there are also many benefits possible in the digital transformation of tax administration.

As the global economy continues to expand across borders, practical and timely sharing of knowledge and data between tax administrations has never been more important.

The FTA supports the digital transformation in taxation administration, recognising digitisation is important for not only improving tax compliance, but also to provide contemporary services and meet the changing expectations of citizens and businesses.

At the end of the FTA Plenary, all countries collectively agreed to 3 priority focus areas for the year ahead to help guide multinational collective efforts.

They are:

  • joint consideration of the detailed administrative and capability aspects related to implementing the two-pillar solution to address tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy. This will include standardised documentation requirements and exploring the use of new technology tools to help deliver common solutions to reduce burdens for both tax administrations and for business,
  • the digital transformation of tax administration, and
  • capacity building to support developing country tax administrations.

The FTA brings together Commissioners from around the world (including all OECD and G20 countries) to identify and discuss relevant global trends, improve the fairness and effectiveness of tax administration, and improve compliance.

This year’s meeting was the first time since 2019 that the forum has come together in person. Ahead of the forum, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan reflected on its significance.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done as a group and particularly Australia’s involvement as we mark 20 years of the FTA in 2022. A contemporary tax administration cannot exist in isolation from other jurisdictions, which is why we value international collaboration so highly” Mr Jordan said.