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OECD Virtually Trained More Than 4K Tax Officials In 2020

By Natalie Olivo · February 17, 2021, 7:28 PM EST

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development virtually trained more than 4,000 tax officials during 2020, compared with the 160 attendees of face-to-face trainings during the months leading up to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Wednesday.

Health measures related to the pandemic marked a turning point in how the OECD helped build the tax capacities of developing countries, including a shift to virtual trainings that have had an "unprecedented impact," according to the Paris-based organization's report. More than 4,150 tax officials were trained in 23 virtual events during 2020, including regional and jurisdiction-specific sessions, the OECD said.

The report said three face-to-face trainings were attended by 160 tax officials between December 2019 and March 2020 — the month when the World Health Organization declared the virus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, a pandemic.

The virtual training events "allowed for a broader attendance, reaching officials who would not have the opportunity to participate otherwise," the OECD said.

Topics during these sessions included legal and operational changes needed to ensure tax transparency and effective information exchanges between tax administrations, according to the report.

Overall, virtual trainings have received positive reception and will continue to play a key role in building the tax capacity of developing countries, the OECD said. The organization's report covered other capacity building efforts that have changed in response to the pandemic, including a shift to remote assistance and electronic leaning courses.

--Editing by Neil Cohen.

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