IMF Technical Note – Use of Technology in Tax Administrations 2: Core Information Technology Systems in Tax Administrations

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 Two years later, the information is still very relevant for tax administrations with no or limited and outdated technology to manage their core tax processes.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 second of three addressing information technology (IT) themes and issues relevant to tax administrations. This note addresses how to select a suitable IT system for core tax administration functions. Note one covers the use of IT in tax administrations and how to develop an information technology strategic plan (ITSP). The third note focuses on the implementation of a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system. These technical notes are primarily for tax administrations that have no technology to manage their core tax processes, or their technology is limited and outdated. These notes 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:

  • How to decide to keep or replace systems?
  • How can the “build versus buy” decision be made?
  • What is a typical set of functionalities seen in a modern administration?
  • How can a product be selected?
  • What contract issues need to be considered?
  • How long will it take to complete the project?


Total pages 17 • Language English 

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The full Technical Note is available here for download.

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