The centre for tax analysis in developing countries

Overseas Development Institue Institue for Fiscal Studies

In April, May and June 2020, TaxDev researchers David Phillips and Iain Steel participated in a series of virtual seminars in collaboration with the OECD, regional associations of tax administrators, and regional development banks to discuss fiscal policy responses to COVID-19.

TaxDev researchers spoke at a joint OECD and African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) workshop, attended by over 70 participants from 27 revenue authorities and finance ministries in Africa, including Director- and Commissioner-level staff, in April; a joint OECD, Asian Development Bank and Asia Pacific Forum event attended by over 90 participants from revenue authorities and finance ministries in the Asia and Pacific regions in May; and a joint OECD, Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA) and Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) event, attended by over 90 participants across 29 countries in June.

The presentations highlighted the need to frequently monitor the revenue impacts of the crisis, and potentially take measures to shore up fiscal positions, particularly in low-income countries where the fiscal situation and impacts are acute.

TaxDev researchers also suggested that policymakers could consider the relevant tax policy response measures to COVID-19 in three phases; an immediate support phase, a medium-term stimulus phase, and a longer-term consolidation phase.

Finally, the presentations underscored the value of maximising the use of real-time tax data to better understand the impacts of the crisis; official statistics may lag behind rapidly-evolving real-world events, and may therefore be too slow to inform policy responses.

The seminars were well received. At the OECD and ATAF workshop, ATAF Executive Secretary, Logan Wort called for similar events in future, and TaxDev’s presentation at the OECD, Asian Development Bank and Asia Pacific Forum was used in a special feature in ‘Revenue Statistics in Asian and Pacific Economies 2020’, published by the OECD.


Published on: 9th June 2020

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