A new Course on Tax Collection and Arrears Management

May 08, 2024

In May 2024, staff from the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department and JVI delivered a new course: Tax Collection and Arrears Management. 

Tax administrations are typically the main collector of revenue for Governments to deliver on their sustainable development goals. If the tax is not paid on time this can limit the ability of the Government to deliver outcomes for its citizens. Tax administrations are also one of the main touch points between citizens and the government so it is important that they are recognized as responsible, trustworthy and capable.  

Twenty five participants from twelve jurisdictions in Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia participated in the course. The participants were a mix of senior officials from ministries of finance and tax and revenue authorities. 

The course was demanding and the participant cohort rose to the challenge. From April 29 to May 3, the course covered a range of topics from techniques to ensure on-time payment through to enforced collection, and from strategic planning through to operational detail. Participants gained insights about: 


  • Aligning debt collection to the overall strategy of the tax administration;
  • Applying “Payment Thinking” inside a tax administration and using behavioral insights when interacting with taxpayers;
  • Prevention, Early Collection, Firmer Action and Realistic Recovery techniques; and
  • Challenging topical issues such as phoenix behavior.


The content of the course drew from organizational design, strategic planning, psychology, law and process engineering as well as the core tools and techniques associated with the administration of tax collection. Participants had the opportunity to develop an action plan for use in their own administrations and learnt a process-mapping technique which can be invaluable in improving efficiency and effectiveness, training staff and interpreting legislation.

Participants were also provided with links to valuable international good practice resources, including the VITARA program, so that they can continue to deepen and strengthen their experience. 

The course evaluation proved very positive, with all participants providing a five out of five indication that they were satisfied with the course and would recommend it for others.   

Michael Hardy, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department


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