Together for Better Outcomes

Engaging and Involving SME Taxpayers and Stakeholders

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Revenue bodies are increasingly focusing on improving their understanding of taxpayers and taking advantage of opportunities for collaboration where win-win situations exists. This is not least true for the large and heterogeneous SME segment, which in many countries has proven difficult and costly to administer with traditional approaches.

This Forum on Tax Administration study provides inspiration and guidance to revenue bodies wishing to explore the potential for improving outcomes, reducing costs, improving services and generating other benefits by engaging and involving SME taxpayers and stakeholders. The study provides a conceptual framework illustrating the benefits and situating the approach in the context of public sector reform, technological developments and trends in compliance risk management. It further provides a comprehensive review of current and emerging practices across the areas of information and guidance, compliance risk management, and systemic solutions. Finally the study provides guidance to support successful implementation.

The study finds that while revenue bodies have substantial experience to build on, there is also potential for more systematic, far-reaching and potentially transformative approaches. A key barrier in this regard is that performance metrics relying extensively on output measures channel resources and attention away from innovative approaches that work back from the desired ultimate outcomes.


The Engaging and Involving concept and its implications for tax administration

Engaging and involving citizens in the production of public services has emerged as a major trend across the public sector in many countries. The approach offers substantial benefits to governments, citizens and society as a whole, as (among other benefits) it can mobilise unused resources, contribute to better solutions and outcomes, and enhance legitimacy, trust and democratic governance.

This chapter, drawing on work by the OECD and academic literature, offers an introduction to these developments and their relevance to tax administration. The chapter relates the Engaging and Involving (E and I) concept to existing models of public participation and emerging practices of co-production. It further situates this change in perspective in the context of broader developments, notably the changing role of the public sector and the impact of new technologies. Finally the chapter lifts the perspective to elaborate on the implications for tax administrations and the management of SME compliance, including the many internal and external benefits.


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