Frequently Asked Questions

The Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) is a partnership of like-minded countries and organisations united by the vision of tax systems that work for people and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

To learn more about the ATI have a look at the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. 

About the ATI

What is the ATI?

The ATI is a partnership of like-minded countries and organisations united by the vision of tax systems that work for people and advance the SDGs. The ATI aims to promote fair and effective domestic revenue mobilisation (DRM), policy coherence and the social contract through partnerships and knowledge building. The ATI plays an essential role in fostering collective action to improve tax systems in light of recognised gaps in development finance. To date, the ATI accounts for 25 partner countries, 20 development partners and 17 supporting organisations.

What does the ATI do?

Being an inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership in nature, the ATI plays an impartial and constructive role in fostering dialogue and exchange. The ATI provides its members with:

  • Access to a vast network of policymakers and practitioners in the tax and development field;
  • An extensive database that gathers and visualises portfolio data of development cooperation in the area of DRM (DRM Database and Project Map);
  • An online platform for matching needs for support with available resources (ATI Matchmaking Platform);
  • Annual monitoring reports on the progress made against attaining the ATI commitments and fostering DRM reforms;
  • Briefs and webinars on relevant tax policy and administration topics;
  • The opportunity to have frank and open discussions about current topics (e.g. ATI Consultative Group meetings or international ATI events).
What is the aim of the ATI?

​​As a platform that promotes fair and effective DRM, the aims of the ATI are diverse. The overall aim is to reaffirm members’ commitment to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and close recognised gaps in development finance as a means to foster sustainable development. All aims are aligned with the ATI Declaration 2025.  These include:

  • Enabling partner countries’ voices in relevant initiatives in the area of tax and development.
  • Promoting accountability for political commitments by monitoring and publicly reporting on progress and results made towards the achievement of the commitments.
  • Providing a coordination platform that fosters coordinated cooperation and activities in the area of DRM.
  • Engaging in policy advocacy that ensures international attention for DRM, influencing global discourses and inspiring collective action, while valuing important partnerships with other organisations to ensure complementary efforts, avoid duplications and prevent rivalry.
  • Improving coherence, alignment and coordination in DRM by matching the need for technical assistance with available expertise and resources.
  • Providing a knowledge-building platform that fosters the exchange of expertise, views and ideas on issues related to tax and development.
How are the ATI and the Financing for Development process interlinked?

The ATI was initiated and launched in 2015 by the governments of Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States in the course of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to support the implementation of the AAAA. Its inception was accompanied by the launch of the first ATI Declaration, which included three commitments to be implemented by 2020.  

At the 2021  United Nations Economic and Social Council's (ECOSOC) Financing for Development Forum, the  ATI Declaration 2025 was launched. The ATI Declaration 2025 brings equitable tax policies, efficient revenue administration, capacity development, policy coherence and accountability in tax and revenue matters to the fore as critical aspects to close recognised gaps in development finance for achieving the SDGs. It is a milestone document for global efforts to increase domestic revenues to close the financing for development gap.

How Is the ATI organised and structured?

The established bodies of the ATI are the ATI General Assembly (consisting of all ATI members), the ATI Steering Committee, the ATI Consultative Groups and the ATI Secretariat, which is facilitated by the International Tax Compact (ITC). Other structures may be established by the ATI Steering Committee in consultation with the wider ATI membership (e.g. task forces for specific issues or topics). The ATI bodies are responsible for promoting the interest of the ATI and ensuring the achievement of its objectives. To read more about the ATI bodies and the governance structure, click here.

About the ATI Declaration 2025 and its commitments

What is the ATI Declaration 2025?

The ATI Declaration 2025 is a milestone document in tax and development, which will guide ATI members within the first half of the “Decade of Action” to support financing the SDGs through domestic revenues. The ATI Declaration 2025 comprises four commitments that were developed in a spirit of partnership and mutual accountability to enhance collective action and reach the ATI’s shared vision. Each development partner and partner country adherent has responsibility consistent with its role and capacity to attain the commitments by 2025. Read more about it here.

What are The ATI Commitments?

With the endorsement of the ATI Declaration 2025, ATI member countries pledge to keep the following key commitments that promote fair, equitable and effective DRM: 

  • Commitment 1: ATI partner countries commit to enhance DRM based on equitable tax policies as well as efficient, effective and transparent revenue administrations. ATI development partners commit to support such reforms. 
  • Commitment 2: ATI development partners collectively commit to maintain or surpass the 2020 global target level (USD 441.1 million) of DRM cooperation for country-owned tax reforms.
  • Commitment 3: ATI members commit to apply coherent and coordinated policies that foster DRM and combat tax-related illicit financial flows (IFFs).
  • Commitment 4: ATI members commit to enhance space and capacity for accountability stakeholders in partner countries to engage in tax and revenue matters.
What does ATI Commitment 1 entail?

To fulfil Commitment 1 of the ATI Declaration 2025, ATI partner countries must support reforms to foster equity of tax systems in partner countries in order to reduce inequalities and advance the social contract. Additionally, they must improve the efficiency of revenue administration and, where necessary, counteract the cost pressure in partner countries through further modernisation (e.g. digitalisation) and broader institutional change. Members also, pledge to enhance the effectiveness of partner countries’ revenue administrations in curbing non-compliant behaviour by strengthening their capacities and capabilities, including risk management frameworks. More detailed information can be found in the Declaration.

The implementation of ATI Commitment 1 is the responsibility of the ATI member countries and is supported by ATI Consultative Group 1.

What does ATI Commitment 2 entail?

To fulfil Commitment 2 of the ATI Declaration 2025, ATI development partners must ensure that partner countries take the lead in coordinating DRM cooperation at the country level. Additionally, ATI development partners must meet well-defined demands from partner countries that promote revenue generation through equitable, efficient and effective tax systems, and build trust. They also pledge to support and strengthen capacities of partner countries, both at the national and subnational levels, and foster a diversity of approaches to collaboration and capacity development. They further offer to support ATI partner countries to formulate and implement comprehensive, prioritised and costed national revenue or reform strategies after public consultation with accountability stakeholders as well as align the quantity of DRM cooperation data reporting with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) database. More detailed information can be found in the Declaration.

The implementation of ATI Commitment 2 is the responsibility of the ATI member countries and is supported by ATI Consultative Group 2.

What does ATI Commitment 3 entail?

To fulfil Commitment 3 of the ATI Declaration 2025, members of the ATI pledge to work towards whole-of-government approaches on tax and development, working across jurisdictional boundaries of ministries, public administrations and public agencies to improve DRM in partner countries. While partner countries need to improve their tax systems, development partners will undertake, where feasible, the analyses of spill over effects and policy coherence. This includes improving tax transparency through regular publication of tax expenditures to facilitate cost-benefit assessments, ultimately helping to reduce wasteful tax expenditures, improving taxpayers’ trust, and creating a more level playing field for all types of businesses. Additionally, ATI development partners pledge to implement multilateral initiatives to facilitate international cooperation, to combat tax motivated IFFs and tax avoidance by strengthening tax governance and fiscal transparency, eliminating banking secrecy and corruption, ensuring access to beneficial ownership information, and improving the exchange of information and provision of technical expertise. More detailed information can be found in the Declaration.

The implementation of ATI Commitment 3 is the responsibility of the member countries and is supported by ATI Consultative Group 3.

What does ATI Commitment 4 Entail?

To fulfil Commitment 4 of the ATI Declaration 2025, ATI members pledge to collectively contribute to provide an enabling environment for accountability stakeholders in partner countries by involving them in the formulation and implementation of tax and revenue policies in a meaningful, substantial and timely manner. This also entails protecting and promoting the civic space for holding public revenue institutions accountable to ultimately strengthen tax morale, the social contract and social cohesion. More detailed information can be found in the Declaration.

The implementation of ATI Commitment 4 is the responsibility of the member countries and is supported by ATI Consultative Group 4.

How are the ATI Commitments monitored?

The progress made by the ATI members towards the fulfilment of the ATI commitments is monitored annually by the ITC in its role as ATI Secretariat. For this purpose, the ITC combines quantitative and qualitative information, based on both publicly available data and surveys filled out by ATI partner countries and development partners. The monitoring exercise culminates in the publication of an annual ATI Monitoring Report, which assesses the progress made against meeting the ATI commitments. It provides all ATI member countries with the opportunity to share relevant data, best practices and lessons learnt, as well as an outlook on their future activities. Previous reports from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are openly accessible.

Currently, a monitoring framework is being developed for the ATI Declaration 2025, which was launched in November 2020 to replace the original ATI Declaration. The new monitoring framework will build upon the current framework and draw from publicly available data and information whenever possible. It will also build on conceptual work undertaken by the ATI post-2020 Task Force throughout the process of drafting the ATI Declaration 2025 and its commitments. A sound monitoring framework with clearly defined indicators will turn the ATI Declaration 2025 into a management tool to help ATI members develop implementation strategies and allocate resources accordingly, as well as help ensure the accountability of all stakeholders for achieving the commitments. More information will follow soon. 

Benefits of joining the ATI

 What are the benefits of being an ATI Partner Country?
  • ATI partner countries make a national commitment to undertake DRM reforms at the highest level, thus generating political buy-in and ownership.
  • An ATI membership signals a strong interest in receiving technical and financial support to DRM reforms, encouraging ATI development partners to offer assistance without a prior official request.
  • An ATI membership supports partner countries in strengthening their voices and needs in the global tax debate.
  • ATI partner countries have the opportunity to connect with a broad international network of development assistance providers in the area of DRM through strategic partnerships and knowledge-building formats.
  • ATI partner countries can engage in the ATI Consultative Groups, where they can set joint work plans and enhance cooperation by participating in frank and open discussions on topics related to DRM and the implementation of the ATI commitments with other partner countries, development partners and supporting organisations.
  • ATI partner countries benefit from jointly developed products of the ATI Consultative Groups (e.g. webinars, studies etc.).
  • ATI partner countries benefit from development partners’ efforts to foster country-driven capacity development, increase the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation in DRM, and promote a diversity of approaches, such as support to regional tax organisations or South-South and triangular cooperation.
  • ATI partner countries can participate in the ATI Matchmaking Platform to better match the needs and availabilities of DRM resources, expertise and finance.
  • ATI partner countries have the possibility to share best practices and lessons learned through the ATI Monitoring Report and regular consultations.
  • ATI partner countries have experienced a greater increase in grant official development assistance (ODA) for DRM from ATI development partners than non-ATI partner countries.
  • An ATI membership is free of charge.
What are the benefits of being an ATI Development Partner?
  • ATI development partners benefit from the political buy-in and ownership by ATI partner countries in the implementation of the ATI commitments.
  • ATI development partners benefit from an improved coordination among development partners and partner countries alike, including south-south cooperation initiatives.
  • ATI development partners profit from an enhanced ability to connect with a broad international network in the field of tax and development.
  • ATI development partners can engage in the ATI Consultative Groups, where they can set joint work plans and enhance cooperation by participating in frank and open discussions on topics related to DRM and the implementation of the ATI commitments with ATI partner countries, development partners and supporting organisations.
  • ATI development partners benefit from jointly developed products by the ATI Consultative Groups (e.g. webinars, studies etc.).
  • ATI development partners can participate in the ATI Matchmaking Platform to better match available resources, expertise and finance with the needs and priorities of partner countries.
  • ATI development partners have the possibility to share best practices and lessons learned through the ATI Monitoring Report and regular consultations.
  • ATI development partners have the possibility to display the progress from DRM capacity building activities through the DRM Database.
  • An ATI membership is free of charge.
What are the benefits of being an ATI Supporting Organisation?
  • ATI supporting organisations benefit from the political buy-in and ownership by ATI partner countries in the implementation of the ATI commitments.
  • ATI supporting organisations benefit from an improved coordination among development partners and partner countries alike, including south-south cooperation initiatives.
  • ATI supporting organisations profit from an enhanced ability to connect with a broad international network in the field of tax and development.
  • ATI supporting organisations can engage in the ATI Consultative Groups, where they can set joint work plans and enhance cooperation by participating in frank and open discussions on topics related to DRM and the implementation of the ATI commitments with ATI partner countries, development partners and supporting organisations.
  • ATI supporting organisations benefit from jointly developed products by the ATI Consultative Groups (e.g. webinars, studies etc.).
  • ATI supporting organisations can participate in the ATI Matchmaking Platform to better match available resources, expertise and finance with the needs and priorities of partner countries.
  • ATI supporting organisations have the possibility to share best practices and lessons learned through the ATI Monitoring Report and regular consultations.​​​​
  • An ATI membership is free of charge.

​​ATI membership

Who can participate in the ATI?

To join the ATI and become an ATI member country, the country must:

  1. Provide development assistance to enhance DRM in partner countries;
  2. And/or be interested in receiving development assistance for enhancing DRM in your country;
  3. And endorse the ATI Declaration 2025,committing to implement the partnership commitments.

Non-governmental organisations that provide ODA to fund technical assistance or are engaged in the area of DRM in partner countries, such as international organisations, civil society organisations (CSOs) or think tanks, and which endorse the objectives of the ATI can join as ATI supporting organisations.

How can a country or organisation join the ATI?

Countries can join the ATI as partner countries or development partners by sending a signed endorsement letter to the ITC, which facilitates the ATI Secretariat, declaring their commitment to the ATI Declaration 2025.​​​​​​ The endorsement letter needs to be signed by an institution that is authorised to sign and that can provide the necessary political support to fulfil the ATI commitments (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance or the like). 

Organisations can join the ATI as supporting organisations by sending an endorsement letter signed by a representative within your organisation that is authorised to sign and that can provide the necessary political support to affirm support to the ATI Declaration 2025.

The letter of endorsement should explicitly declare a country’s intent to commit to the ATI Declaration 2025 and to fulfil the ATI commitments.  

The ITC will forward the signed endorsement letter to the ATI Steering Committee for information and approval. To receive a template for the letter of endorsement, please contact secretariat@taxcompact.net.

Are there any fees or other costs associated with joining the ATI?

No, there are no fees or any other costs associated with joining or being a member of the ATI. However, there may be financial implications in fulfilling the ATI commitments, for example in maintaining or surpassing the 2020 global target level (USD 441.1 million) of DRM cooperation for country-owned tax reforms or in stepping up national efforts to enhance DRM.

 

What are the implications of becoming a member country of the ATI?

Partner countries and development partners that join the ATI pledge to implement the partnership commitments as stated in the ATI Declaration 2025, effectively signaling the will to enhance and foster DRM reforms as a means of financing development and fostering the SDGs.  

By adhering to the ATI, partner countries are not required to meet specific targets (e.g. for tax-to-GDP ratio). However, they are encouraged to share their DRM strategies and to actively contribute, where possible, to monitoring progress on DRM by completing the annual ATI Monitoring Surveys, which track the progress made by the member countries towards the fulfilment of the commitments as stipulated in the ATI Declaration 2025.

Similarly, ATI development partners that join the ATI endorse the goals of the ATI Declaration 2025 and are responsible for the implementation of the partnership commitments. They respect the principles outlined therein.

ATI member countries are included in all official ATI communication and are invited to participate and contribute to ATI activities and discussions, including conferences and webinars. Additionally, ATI partner countries and development partners are further invited to participate in the ATI Consultative Groups, which promote peer learning, facilitate consultation and the exchange of experiences, and execute activities to foster the implementation of the commitments. They are also welcome as volunteers to co-coordinate the consultative groups, speakers in webinars as well as interviewees for ATI related activities.  

ATI member countries are encouraged to volunteer to participate in the ATI Steering Committee and will be invited to do so, when relevant, by the ATI Secretariat.  

What are the implications of becoming a supporting organisation of the ATI?

ATI supporting organisations are included in all official ATI communication and are invited to participate and contribute to ATI meetings and discussions. They are welcome to participate in donor coordination activities and ATI consultative groups. ATI supporting organisations are invited to actively support, present and advocate for the ATI if deemed sensible.

ATI supporting organisations are not responsible for implementing the ATI commitments, but can contribute to the work of the ATI, such as the annual ATI Monitoring Report and the online DRM Database by providing information on their DRM portfolio and their DRM-relevant capacity building activities.

By joining the ATI, do ATI partner countries automatically receive (more) DRM assistance?

While joining the ATI does not guarantee (more) development partner-funded DRM support, 20 development partners have pledged to maintain or surpass the 2020 global target level (USD 441.1 million) of DRM cooperation for country-owned tax reforms. In addition, 17 supporting organisations active in the area of tax and development support the initiative and are in close contact with ATI partner countries.

Therefore, by becoming an ATI member, partner countries gain access to development partners specialised in and generally interested in assisting with DRM reforms. The 2018 ATI Monitoring Report shows that ATI partner countries have experienced a greater increase in grant ODA for DRM from ATI development partners than non-ATI partner countries. Additionally, through the ATI Matchmaking Platform, collaboration between ATI members and organisations is further enhanced on DRM-related issues.

The ITC, in its role as ATI Secretariat, maintains a network of focal points in the ATI member countries and supporting organisations who can provide information about possibilities for cooperation on request.

Can countries join the ATI both as development partners and partner countries at the same time?

By becoming an ATI member country, a country that provides DRM assistance to any other country will be considered an ATI development partner, thereby collectively committing to maintain or surpass the 2020 global target level (USD 441.1 million) of DRM cooperation (ATI Commitment 2). While putting a specific focus on ATI commitment 2 and 3, ATI development partners also commit to the other two ATI commitments, as stated in the ATI Declaration 2025.

A country that receives DRM assistance from any other country will be considered an ATI partner country and commits to all ATI commitments, with a particular focus on 1, 3 and 4, as stated in the ATI Declaration 2025.

​​How can ATI members engage actively in the ATI?

Join the ATI Consultative Group (s)!

As multi-stakeholder partnership, the ATI lives of the vast experiences and variety of perspectives its members bring to the table. Therefore, four ATI Consultative Groups were initiated in November 2020 to support the fulfilment of the ATI commitments in line with the ATI Declaration 2025.

The overall objective of the ATI Consultative Groups is to promote peer learning, facilitate consultation and the exchange of experiences, and to organise and execute activities to foster the implementation of the ATI commitments. By joining one or more consultative groups, ATI members can use their unique position to identify ways on how to connect and add value to existing work and ongoing processes in the field of DRM and financing for development while making sure to avoid duplicate efforts made by others. ATI members thus accelerate the implementation of the ATI Declaration 2025. Among others, they can volunteer best practices and case studies to be shared with the network, provide input and feedback to ATI products, participate in ATI Consultative Group meetings and exchange knowledge in open and frank discussions.

All ATI members are invited to actively participate in one or multiple consultative group(s) by sending an email to secretariat@taxcompact.net.

Join the ATI Matchmaking Platform!

The ATI Matchmaking Platform is an online platform for enhancing collaboration between ATI member countries and organisations. Members are presented with the opportunity to search out and contact each other based on the need for support or the availability of relevant expertise. Through the platform, ATI members are invited by the ITC, in its role as ATI Secretariat, to log into an exclusive area of the ATI website, where they can upload and view other members’ requests for support of available expertise announcements. For more information, please refer to our ATI Matchmaking  FAQs and the ATI Matchmaking User Guide, or contact secretariat@taxcompact.net.

Share your knoweldge and experience with the network!

ATI members are encouraged to contribute own inputs that can be shared with the ATI network. Inputs can be disseminated for example in ATI events such as webinars or virtual coffee breaks. Alternatively, they can request the ITC, in its role as ATI Secretariat, to share information about their events or products via email and/or social media with the broader ATI membership. Members are encouraged to contact the ITC to coordinate the process. If your country or organisation wishes to provide inputs or disseminate information, please send an email to secretariat@taxcompact.net.

Become an ATI advocate!

All ATI members are encouraged to actively support, present and advocate for the ATI, for example at regional or international events on tax and development. The ATI Factsheet, the ATI Declaration 2025 Factsheet and the ATI video provide useful background information. In case you require additional information to advocate for the ATI, please contact the ITC at secretariat@taxcompact.net.

MY QUESTION HAS NOT BEEN ANSWERED, WHO DO I CONTACT?

For further questions and enquiries, you can send an email to the ITC at secretariat@taxcompact.net and we will be happy to respond.

 

Learn more about the ATI and watch our video!