A Comparative Analysis of Tax Administration in Asia and the Pacific: 2016

Publication | September 2016

This comparative analysis report analyzes the administrative frameworks, functions, and performance of 21 economies in Asia and the Pacific and shares important developments and trends in tax administration practice and performance.

  • US$25.00 (paperback)

The analysis and practical guidance provided in this report are based on surveys of revenue bodies conducted in 2014 and 2015, along with accompanying research of revenue bodies’ corporate documents, and guidance and diagnostic materials published by international organizations that seek to promote improvements in tax administration.

The report series aims to help revenue bodies and governments identify opportunities for enhancing the operation of their tax systems by sharing internationally comparable data on aspects of tax systems and their administration. However, considerable care needs to be taken with international comparisons of tax administration setups and performance-related data.


Some broad observations and conclusions emerging from the analyses include the following:

  • Data for the vast majority of economies reveal an increasing tax to gross domestic product ratio (tax–GDP ratio) in the years up to 2013, although there is significant variation in the tax mix relied on.
  • Revenue bodies in many developing economies have fairly limited autonomy, particularly in relation to the flexible use of budgeted expenditure, the design of their internal structure, and/or the ability to influence the recruitment and mix of staff.
  • Many revenue bodies appear to have a limited planning horizon (i.e., the immediate fiscal year). Consideration should be given to adopting a longer planning horizon and developing a more robust strategic planning framework that includes a comprehensive set of performance measures for the key objectives set.
  • The vast majority of economies reported having a formal plan or strategy for improving the range and quality of their electronic services over the medium term. The areas for priority attention most frequently reported were (i) online filing of tax returns; (ii) online payment of taxes; (iii) upgraded websites, offering additional tax system information and applications; (iv) other online transactions; and (v) integrated taxpayer accounts.
  • Good levels of progress with the use of online filing of tax returns is being achieved by a number of emerging and developing economies (e.g., Malaysia, Mongolia, and Thailand). However, for many developing economies (e.g., Cambodia; Hong Kong, China; the Kyrgyz Republic; Papua New Guinea; the Philippines; and Tajikistan), either very limited progress has been made in this regard, or such services are yet to be offered.
  • Most emerging and developing economies appear to have significant potential to make substantially greater use of fully electronic payment services, and to dispense with other more costly payment services (e.g., in-person and agency payments). Similarly, many revenue bodies do not appear to monitor the usage of the different payment methods used and, as a result, do not have a good understanding of their related costs and benefits.

This report is the second in a series, and is part of ADB’s regional research and development project on tax administration. The initial version of this report was published in 2014.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Tax System Revenue Collections and Structure
  • Institutional and Organizational Design of Tax Administration
  • Strategic Management in Revenue Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operating Budgets and Staffing of Revenue Bodies
  • Tax Administration Operations
  • Use of Electronic Services in Tax Administration
  • Legislated Administrative Frameworks
  • Appendix

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Governance and public sector management
  • Public financial management
  • Taxation and domestic resource mobilization
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • China, People's Republic of
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taipei,China
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • 124
  • 8.5 x 11
  • RPT168375-2
  • 978-92-9257-569-4 (print)
  • 978-92-9257-570-0 (electronic)

Subscribe to our monthly digest of latest ADB publications.

Follow ADB Publications on social media.