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EUROSAI Study Group on Benchmarking the Costs/Performance of Tax Administrations Study Group

The VI EUROSAI Congress in Bonn, (Germany) May/June 2005, recommended that EUROSAI Members should be encouraged to exchange benchmarking information, definitions and criteria to enable them to compare internationally the costs and performance of tax administrations.

During 2006 a small Study Group of EUROSAI Members chaired by the SAI of the United Kingdom (with the support of the SAIs of Finland, France, Poland and Sweden as active members of the Study Group) took charge of compiling information on performance in different countries, comparing the costs and the action of the fiscal administrations. (Annex A)

This research work has included collating and categorising the main indicators tax administrations use to evaluate their performance; exploring why tax administrations use the performance indicators they do and why others are not used, and identifying the main cost indicators of tax administration. The Study Group has drawn on the experience of its respective tax administrations to bring together performance information used under four main themes:

  • Effectiveness of the tax administration
  • Quality of service
  • Tax compliance
  • Costs

The indicators identified provide a ‘menu’ for assessing tax administrations, depending on their priorities and maturity.

Bearing this in mind, Rand Europa (a European investigation organisation) was commissioned to conduct a more thorough review of the performance indicators used by the tax administrations inside and outside of Europe, and by other international organisations such as the OECD. Rand reported to the Sudy Group on its initial conclusions, it took in comments from the Group and drew up a report for being distributed of Members of EUROSAI. The OECD also assisted the Study Group in September and provided useful information on the challenges faced when it evaluates the performance of the tax administrations.

The Group prepared a survey which it sent to all EUROSAI Members in 2006 aimed at obtaining information on:

  • The fiscal administration.
  • The indicators used by the fiscal administrations throughout the EUROSAI community.
  • The performance in specific areas of activity, for example, VAT.

This information was used to develop model study cases with the aim of evaluating the performances of the Tax Administrations.

The Final Report of the Study Group was presented to the VII EUROSAI Congress (Krakow, Poland, June 2008). This Report is accompanied by a Technical Note. The Group ended its mandate at the VII Congress.

For further information, please get in touch with Nick Lacy (Tel: +44 207 798 7090; Fax +44 207 798 7903; nick.lacy@nao.gsi.gov.uk)

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