IMF Technical Note – Use of Technology in Tax Administrations 1: Developing an Information Technology Strategic Plan (ITSP)

Sophisticated information technology (IT) support has become an essential part of the fabric of modern tax administrations. IT plays a pivotal role in all aspects of tax administration – taxpayer interactions and service, registration, processing, accounting, work automation, workflow regulation, case management, and risk analysis and treatment. In 2017, the IMF published a series of three Technical Notes which address establishing a set of systems to provide core functions to a tax administration. Two years later, the information is still very relevant for tax administrations with no or limited and outdated technology to manage their core tax processes.


This technical note is the first of three addressing information technology (IT) themes and issues relevant to tax administrations. This note focuses on the use of technology in tax administrations and how to develop an information technology strategic plan (ITSP). It is intended for tax administrations that are largely manual or have outdated legacy IT systems. The second note addresses how to select an IT system for core tax administrations functions. And the third note covers implementation of a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system. These technical notes are primarily for use by tax administrations that have no technology to manage their core tax processes, or their technology is limited and outdated. They focus on core tax functions and do not address other business systems (e.g., payroll, finance, document, and asset management systems).

This technical note and manual addresses the following questions:

  • What questions need to be asked and what issues should be taken into account when developing an IT strategy?
  • What is the link between the IT strategy and the organizational strategy and plan?
  • What functionality should the IT strategy aim for?
  • What is an Information Technology Strategic Plan (ITSP), why is it important and when should it be developed?
  • Who should be involved in developing the strategy and in what roles?
  • Should an ITSP address Risk Management issues?


Total pages 18 • Language English 

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The full Technical Note is available here for download.

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