News / Bulletins from the Executive Director of CATA, Duncan Onduru









Peer review report on BEPS Action 5 for 2017 released

The OECD has published a report on the peer review on the implementation of Action 5 of the BEPS Action Plan. The report released on 13th December, 2018 details the findings of the review done in 2017 which covers 92 jurisdictions.

Action 5 address issues around ‘harmful tax regimes’ that create an uneven playing field and its distortionary effects that lead to tax base erosion. It also requires jurisdictions to enhance transparency by ensuring exchange of information on tax rulings. According to the report, ‘All jurisdictions already have, or have undertaken steps to implement the necessary legal framework for spontaneous exchange of information on rulings for the year in review’.

CATA member countries covered in the report include Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, India, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom.

Read the report



Season’s Greetings from CATA's President 


Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year

                                  from CATA President

                                  Mr Sudhamo Lal


Esteemed Members,

As this year comes close to the end and 2019 approaches faster, I would like, on behalf of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administration and in my own name, to thank all members for their support and participation in the CATA events during this year. I need to appreciate the collective efforts of everyone in making this year a success for CATA in one way or another.

2018 has been an active and productive year for the Association. This year was marked by the celebration of the 40th anniversary of CATA which in itself is an important milestone for all our members. When the curtain on the 39th CATA Technical Conference fell in Fiji last November, we could feel the pride of our members in being associated with such an established organization. In 2018, CATA continued to cement its international relationships by its association with other regional/international tax organizations such as the Pacific Island Tax Administrators Association (PITAA) and the Network of Tax Organisations (NTO).

For some weeks a new Management Committee has been in place under the Chairmanship of Fiji and I am looking forward in 2019 to working closely with the new Committee Members to bring CATA to new heights with the same enthusiasm and positivity as was characterized by the former Committee.

With the year 2019 at our doorsteps, I seek the occasion to wish our CATA family a joyous festive season and a prosperous New Year. For some of us, the coming holiday season will not be a joyous occasion due to personal circumstances or loss of close ones. Our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with them as well.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a New Year filled with success.


In memory of Douglas Rankin (1951 - 2018)

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death after a short illness of Douglas Rankin, formerly of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the U.K.  Douglas will be known to members of the CATA family all over the Commonwealth not only as a former Vice Chairman of CATA but also in a direct and personal capacity as a very friendly, knowledgeable and truly inspirational resource person who gave his time freely to students attending the Taxation of International Transactions programme held each year in Malaysia.

Dato’ Sri Sabin Samitah, CEO Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, has paid the following tribute to Douglas:

 “To us, Douglas was not just a resource person who has dedicated his time and energy sharing his expertise in international taxation over a good number of years in the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, but was a friend who had our utmost respect for his professionalism. He was smart, witty and cheerful. He made the learning experience fun and never boring. He was much loved and is dearly missed by all of us.”

Read more tributes here

Douglas grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. After graduating from St Andrews University he trained initially as a teacher and taught mathematics, rising to the position of Deputy Headmaster of Beaumont School in St Albans.

Then, in a mid career change Douglas left teaching to join HMRC (then known as the Inland Revenue) and retrained as an inspector of taxes. As a member of HMRC’s International Division in the 1990s he amassed considerable experience and expertise in dealing with difficult tax cases involving thin capitalisation and transfer pricing and subsequently used that knowledge to great effect both in his next role as a negotiator of double taxation treaties in HMRC’s Treaty team, and as a resource person on the Taxation of International Transactions programme in Malaysia, where his previous experience as a teacher also proved invaluable.

As Vice Chairman of CATA's Management Committee from 2006 until 2011, Douglas helped greatly to ensure the future of the Association by carefully shaping its objectives and work programme.  And no one present will ever forget the entertaining way in which he compered each “CATA Night” (the party which traditionally ends each conference), resplendent - as a proud Scotsman - in his kilt and deploying his infectious humour to the full.

Douglas impressed everyone he met with his seemingly endless energy and the way in which he applied this with such passion to achieving what he believed was right.

Above everything he was a genuinely nice man, kind, considerate and well intentioned in everything he did.


CATA has lost a good friend. He will be sorely missed.


CATA's 40th Birthday Celebrations

The Executive Director cuts the colourful birthday cake kindly prepared by the hosts of our Conference in Fiji to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of CATA. The occasion was also marked by the publication of a special Commemorative Magazine.

Read the Commemorative Magazine here


CATA/HMRC Senior Leadership Programme for 2019

Arrangements for the 2019 Senior Leadership Programme (SLP) have now been finalised and applications to attend this are invited from suitably qualified individuals.  Click on the links below for full information and to download an application form. 

Please note that the deadline for the receipt of applications is Thursday, 27th December, 2018.



Application form


United Kingdom set to introduce digital services tax (DST)

The government of the United Kingdom has announced the imposition of a new tax on digital services. Known as the Digital Services Tax (DST), the tax is set to come into operation in April 2019 and will be imposed on designated digital services at the rate of 2% on gross revenue from such services. The move comes amidst delay by the OECD in finalising the BEPS Action 1 on the ‘digital economy’. In the run up to the implementation of the tax, Her Majesty’s Treasury has released a ‘consultation document’ for comments and input by the public. The closing date for submission of comments is 29th February, 2019.

Read the consultation document