Transformation of Tax Administrations

Jun 12, 2018 , Ljubljana, Slovenia Webinar

The webinar is delivered as part of the Tax Policy and Administration Learning Program, whose overall objective is to contribute to strengthening of beneficiary institutions’ capacity in implementing the EU recommendations under which the revenue authorities can enhance tax compliance risk management.

How we have benefited

The webinar complemented the workshop on Leading Change in Modern Tax Administration, which was organized in Podgorica, Montenegro, on March 26-28, 2018.

As revenue agencies are under significant pressure to increase revenues and reduce costs while remaining accountable for providing strong customer service, during the webinar we were seeking answers how to respond to the ongoing digital revolution and determine the best strategy to move forward in these challenging times.

Forces such as the internet, social media, big data and automation are altering our landscape. Tax systems are an integral part of this picture, but changes to digitalize taxes are advancing haltingly in many jurisdictions. On webinar we talked about the complex and competing forces that affect tax as many countries are struggling to reap the full benefits of modern technology in their tax system.

By the end of the webinar we have:

  • Reflected why digitalization is attractive to governments, how it can help tax authorities gain additional insight into the economy and taxpayers’ affairs – and thereby help to close the tax gap
  • Discussed how data-driven processes can reduce the administrative burden both on the collecting authority, and, if done correctly, to the taxpayers themselves
  • Exchanged views how to make the process of compliance simpler

What we have learned

We addressed the following topics:

  • Tax reform and modernization achievements in the Tax Administration of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Handling strategic changes
  • Implementation of complex changes, change management plan, openness, credibility, communication at the Irish Revenue Commissioners
  • Information-driven tax administration in the Netherlands
  • Reinventing the Australian Taxation Office: how smarter data is contributing to the vision
  • Digitization of tax administration, digital profiles, challenges, and digital disruptions

Who attended

The webinar engaged officials from the tax administrations, finance ministries, ministries of economic development, banks, municipalities, and state audit institutions, European Commission, International Monetary Fund, GIZ, and EU Delegation.


Irma Burzić,  Expert Counselor for Planning, Analysis and Reporting, Tax Administration of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Greg Williams, Deputy Commissioner – Smarter Data, Australian Taxation Office 

Marija Vuković, Professor of the International Taxation at the Higher School of Professional Business Studies, Novi Sad, Serbia

Desie Meijer, Team Manager, Tax and Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands

After completing her study on Public Governance at the University of Tilburg in 2011, Desie started her first job at Qredits, a microfinancing company that supports SMEs in the Netherlands. In 2013 she moved to Shanghai to continue working in the financial sector, where she worked in the field of risk management. When she came back to the Netherlands in 2014, she took part in a two-year management program at the Dutch Tax Administration. The aim of this program is to develop and train potential strategic talents for top leading positions at the organization.  After successfully completing the program Desie started as the youngest team manager at the Breda office, where she is currently responsible for about 25 employees.

Norman Gillanders, CEF Associate Fellow

Norman was head of strategic planning and operations policy in the Irish Revenue service at the level of assistant commissioner. He led the restructuring of the Irish Revenue by designing, setting up and running the first of its new regions, and was one of the key managers in the overall restructuring of the organization. He implemented a new business model for managing PAYE (employee payroll taxation) and led the development of the Irish Revenue's compliance strategy. As part of this strategy, Irish Revenue launched its REAP system for computer-driven risk screening of businesses to improve targeting of compliance interventions.

Norman worked as the IMF's tax administration reform advisor in South Eastern Europe from 2011 to 2014, based at the CEF. He worked on behalf of the IMF with the tax authorities in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro and Romania, and has since been closely involved in the design and delivery of the CEF Learning Program. Norman also worked for the IMF on short-term missions, mainly in Rwanda but also in Jordan, Armenia and Tunisia where he was part of a team that delivered a week's training in strategic planning to delegates from over 20 English-speaking African countries.

Richard Buijs, Policy Advisor, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Segment, Tax and Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands

Richard has 31 years of work experience at the NTCA, where he has held several positions. He has worked as a tax auditor, electronic data processing auditor, team leader for small and medium companies and senior enforcement advisor. He has been a project manager and trainer in enforcement strategy. Richard is interested in social psychology and behavioral science.

Reading resources

Revenue agencies living in "interesting" times, David Regan, Accenture

Leading Change, Why Transformation Efforts Fail, John P. Kotter, Harvard Business Review

The Balanced Scorecard - Measures that Drive Performance, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton 

Data-Driven Tax Administration, IOTA's e-book

Towards the Digitizaton of Tax Administration, Marija Vuković, Internationl Taxation Higher School of Professional Business Studies, Novi Sad, Serbia


This learning initiative was supported by:

Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands Ministry of Finance Slovenia Slovenia's Development Cooperation