Addis Tax Initiative

Australia will double its investments to support developing countries to strengthen their tax systems by 2020, which includes efforts to counter tax avoidance and evasion.

Completion Status:
Fulfilled

Commitment filtering:

Specific:yes

The commitment is sufficiently specific because it identifies a narrow policy area, namely support for developing countries to strengthen their tax systems. Information published by the Addis Tax Initiative suggests this commitment is in the form of official development assistance to support the domestic resource mobilisation programmes.[1]

[1] Addis Tax Initiative, Australia Country Report, 2017, https://www.addistaxinitiative.net/profile/australia

Measurable:yes

The commitment is measurable because it identifies the concrete action of doubling support to developing countries. Data published by the Addis Tax Initiative suggests that, in 2015, Australia provided US$11 million to partner countries to support domestic resource mobilisation.[1] Whether the amount of development assistance provided since then has doubled can be measured.

[1] Addis Tax Initiative, Australia Country Report, 2017, https://www.addistaxinitiative.net/profile/australia

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Evaluation:

Australia doubled its support for tax policy and administration reform from AUD$10.8 million (US$7.7 million) in 2015 to AUD$21.7 million (US$15.5 million) in 2020.1 This support was aimed at strengthening tax systems and enhancing domestic revenue mobilisation in partner countries and is consistent with Australia’s commitment to the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI). This support was delivered through Australia’s international development programme.

Technical assistance to partner countries is delivered by the Australian Treasury and Australian Tax Office. In 2021, for example, the Australian Tax Office provided assistance to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau and the Philippines, and worked with multilateral organisations, including the Study Group on Asian Tax Administration and Research (SGATAR) and Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association (PITAA), collaborating on key issues affecting revenue administration in the region. The Australian Tax Office is also supporting tax and financial crime projects in the region. This includes support for the Mekong-Australia Program on Transnational Crime, and OECD Asia-Pacific Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation, where the Australian Tax Office is providing skills training to partner countries to detect and investigate financial crimes and recover the proceeds of those crimes, and to strengthen anti-money laundering capacities.

 

Opportunities to accelerate commitment implementation
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises the importance of domestic revenue mobilisation, and calls for international support to developing countries to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection.2 In November 2020, Australia reaffirmed its commitment to the ATI. Under the ATI Declaration 2025, Australia committed to the collective global target of US$441.1 million annually to maintain support for domestic revenue mobilisation at 2020 levels to 2025.3 Australia’s notional share of this collective global target is AUD$21.7 million (US$15.5 million) each year to 2025.4

 

Recommendations
It is recommended that Australia continue to support work to enhance domestic revenue mobilisation through ongoing financial and technical support to its development partners. Australia should contribute its fair share of the global target of US$441.1 million for domestic revenue mobilisation agreed under the ATI Declaration 2025.

 

Sources:
  1. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Domestic Revenue Mobilisation, 2019, https://www.dfat.gov.au/aid/topics/development-issues/domestic-revenue-mobilisation
    30 Dec 2021
  2. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 17, https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda
    30 Dec 2021
  3. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Domestic Revenue Mobilisation, 2019, https://www.dfat.gov.au/aid/topics/development-issues/domestic-revenue-mobilisation
    30 Dec 2021
  4. Pers comms, government department official
    30 Dec 2021

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