International Cooperation

STUDY GROUP ON ASIAN TAX ADMINISTRATION AND RESEARCH (SGATAR)

 Background (SGATAR Website, About: About SGATAR, Membership; Structure and Hosting)

The Study Group on Asian Tax Administration and Research (SGATAR) was established during the 5th Ministerial Conference for Economic Developments of Southeast Asia (SEAMCED) in 1970 as an annual forum for tax administrators. The birth of SGATAR came after the realization of the founding members that there is a need for a forum where tax planners and tax administrators in the region can share experiences and insights in evolving an ideal tax system. The Philippine delegation to the aforementioned 5th SEAMCED submitted a proposal providing for the creation of SGATAR for the Southeast Asian region. SGATAR, as it operates now, seeks to enhance cooperation among Member-States by providing a platform to enhance the performance of tax administrations in the Asia-Pacific region; and promoting collaboration and communication among member tax administrations in resolving common tax issues which are aimed at improving domestic tax administration in combating tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Membership in SGATAR is free of any joining fees. However, established SGATAR members take turns in hosting the Annual Meeting and providing relevant secretariat support. The ten-member historical hosting order is as follows: The Philippines, People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

The Annual SGATAR Meetings provide Member-States with opportunity to (1) enhance capacity building for members through the sharing of best practices and strengthening training programs on relevant and current tax issues; (2) promote bilateral and/or multilateral cooperation in taxpayer compliance and other special projects; (3) keep abreast of international and regional developments in tax law and administration through the conduct of appropriate research; and (4) relay views and position of members to international forums which serve to strengthen the solidarity of members.

The Philippines hosted the 47th SGATAR Annual Meeting last 27 – 29 November 2017 at Boracay Island, Philippines. This year, the People’s Republic of China will host the 48th SGATAR Annual Meeting.

 SGATAR TASKFORCE

The Study Group on Asian Tax Administration and Research (SGATAR), of which the Philippines is a Member, created the Annual SGATAR Taskforce (Taskforce) in 2014 to fulfil the secretariat role for SGATAR.  Its objective is to help SGATAR achieve its mandate and deliver meaningful outcomes in the long run with cooperation and assistance from all member jurisdictions.  The Taskforce is composed of three (3) SGATAR Member jurisdictions: the respective host jurisdictions of the Annual SGATAR Meeting of the previous year, the current year and the following year.  The work of the Taskforce is overseen by the Steering Committee, which is composed of the Commissioners from the three (3) Taskforce Member jurisdictions.

For 2018, the Taskforce is composed of the Philippines (host of the 47th Meeting), the People’s Republic of China (host of the 48th Meeting), and Indonesia (host of the 49th Meeting).