Revenue bodies in many countries have been set challenging cost reduction targets while they are also required to maintain or even improve their standards of service delivery and the effectiveness of their compliance activities. Against this background, the Forum has undertaken a project under the title of ‘Working Smarter’ to examine measures taken by revenue bodies to reduce costs and increase efficiency in the areas of structuring, compliance, legislation, and service delivery.
The Working smarter in structuring the administration, in compliance, and through legislation information note explores the first three components of the project. The note presents the findings of a survey conducted among revenue bodies in the FTA on cost-reduction targets; strategies and frameworks for managing cost-reduction; and specific measures to achieve savings or effectiveness gains without leading to increased costs or burdens for taxpayers. The note further includes a chapter on the challenges related to the planning and execution of large-scale cost-reduction programmes.
The service delivery component is explored in the Working smarter in revenue administration—Using demand management strategies to meet service delivery goals information note, which presents the findings from a survey on demand management practices of revenue bodies across the FTA. The report provides insights into a number of strategies and tactics used to better manage demand by simplifying the tax system, providing self-service solutions, and reducing low-value demand. The report also draws on private sector experience pointing to significant savings potential through the application of emerging technologies and robust processes to better understand and address the root-causes of demand.
Finally, the key findings and recommendations from these two studies are brought together in the Working Smarter: Executive Overview note, intended as a briefing for senior managers and their advisors.