13th FTA Plenary Meeting

The virtual FTA Amsterdam Plenary Meeting brought together Commissioners from 53 advanced and emerging tax administrations from across the globe and representatives from international organisations and regional tax administration bodies. They discussed a variety of tax administration issues including responses to the global pandemic, emerging risks, digital transformation and tax certainty. Also featured are tax administration innovations and new practices.

The Plenary, originally due to take place in Amsterdam, took place virtually. To take advantage of the virtual format, the Plenary was delivered through a Plenary programme consisting of: a series of virtual pre-Plenary preparatory meetings that took place between November 12 and 20; the pre-recording of presentations on country innovations; and the virtual Amsterdam Plenary meeting on December 7 and 8. These meetings were by invitation only.


Key material



Message from the Chair

Introductory video message on the FTA Plenary from the FTA Chair, Commissioner Bob Hamilton

Reports released during the Plenary meeting

Pre-Plenary preparatory meetings

The pre-Plenary preparatory meetings brought together small groups of Commissioners to allow them to have open conversations in a virtual environment. There were five meetings, each lasting around 90 minutes and covering the following three topics:

COVID-19: Lessons from the crisis

The global pandemic has fundamentally changed how tax administrations do business in many ways. During these sessions, Commissioner will take stock of these changes, and consider whether they present opportunities to improve the way administrations will operate in future, including how to enhance their resilience and agility to future shocks.

What keeps you awake at night?

This recurring topic at recent plenary meetings has resulted in thought provoking and insightful exchanges. Although COVID-19 may have dominated Commissioners’ thinking in 2020, an FTA horizon scan has identified a number of emerging issues for discussion.

Digital transformation of tax administration

The journey towards more seamless and frictionless tax administration has remained an FTA priority, and the digitalisation of business, taxpayers and the wider economy continues to accelerate worldwide. These sessions will allow Commissioners to reflect on the next steps they can take together to improve service to citizens, make compliance easier and more automatic for taxpayers, and use advanced technology tools to make tax administrations’ efforts more effective while reducing burdens for taxpayers.

In each meeting, one Commissioner chaired the discussions, while three other Commissioners each served as a rapporteur for the threee discussions topics. At the virtual Plenary in December, the rapporteurs from the different pre-Plenary groups joined a panel discussion to share the views presented on their topic during the preparatory meetings.


Tax certainty meeting

Facilitating compliance through early tax certainty remains a priority for tax administrations, even while COVID-19 dominates the FTA landscape. The FTA’s work on tax certainty includes looking at effective dispute prevention and dispute resolution mechanisms. As administrations emerge from the pandemic, the importance of these efforts will continue as countries focus on economic recovery.

To advance a discussion on tax certainty, the FTA’s Large Business & International Programme (LBIP) along with the FTA MAP Forum, will host a virtual pre-Plenary meeting for tax officials and business representatives. The format of this meetings will be similar to the pre-Plenary preparatory meetings. The meeting  will take stock of the LBIP and FTA MAP forum work and help shape its future plans. At the virtual Plenary meeting in December, the LBIP’s leadership will support a panel discussion to share feedback from these preparatory meetings.

FTA Plenary Meeting

 All times in CET

Monday, 7 December 2020

13:00 – 13:15 Introduction: FTA Chair
13:15 – 13:30 Supporting the recovery: Keynote speech
13:25 – 14:30

Lessons from the crisis – what will we do differently?

  • Feedback from preparatory meetings and discussions
14:30 – 15:45

What keeps you awake at night?

  • Feedback from preparatory meetings and discussions
15:45 – 16:00 Closing


Tuesday, 8 December 2020

13:00 - 13:30

Introduction on taxation of the digitalising economy

  • Chair
  • Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration OECD
13:30 – 14:30

Tax certainty – prevention and resolution

  • Feedback from preparatory meetings and discussions
  • Commissioners' views
14:30 – 15:40

Digital transformation

  • Keynote speech
  • Feedback from preparatory meetings and discussions
15:40 – 16:00 Closing

FTA Innovation showcase

In past plenaries, Commissioners have exchanged information with their colleagues on new tools and innovative practices in tax administration. Although a live showcase was not possible this year, FTA members, as well as FTA Networks and Communities of Interest, were encouraged to share pre-recorded presentations on innovations, new practices or latest developments.The Secretariat uploaded the pre-recorded presentations from participating countries to a dedicated Plenary web page on the FTA website. Members can watch the presentations at their convenience. If you have not received information yet on the process for sharing pre-recorded presentations please contact the FTA Secretariat at [email protected].


Argentina (Emergency Assistance Program for Labour and Production)

Australia (ATO Corporate Plan 2020-21)

Belgium (Innovation & Technology tools and a new way of helping taxpayers with declaration during the crisis)

Belgium (Digital strategic monitoring during the crisis)

Brazil (Brazilian Tax Administration: innovative approach to address the challenges brought by the pandemic)


Community of Interest on Behavioural Insights

Denmark (Ongoing recruitment campaign)

China (Highlights of China's tax administration modernization)

Finland (Staying Ahead in an Environment of Constant Change)

France (The French Directorate General for Public Finances : an administration on the move)

Georgia (Supporting taxpayers and ensuring business continuity during COVID-19)

Hungary (Digital Audit Trends in Hungary)

Indonesia (BDS Program)

Ireland (Irish Revenue’s response to the COVID-19 crisis

Japan (Digital transformation)

KSPTA (Knowledge Sharing Platform for Tax Administrations)

Lithuania (Virtual accountant – i.APS)

Malaysia (Whole of government approach to tackling tax crime)

New Zealand (2020 and beyond)

Norway (Population registry and holistic identity management)

Peru (Digital Transformation)

Poland (Recent developments in the Polish revenue administration)

Portugal (SAF-T - Portugal’s experience)

Russian Federation

Saudi Arabia (Transformation of Saudi Tax Authority)

Singapore (Overview of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) work and accomplishments in 2020)