Tax administrations around the globe are taking a series of extraordinary measures to support taxpayers and the wider economy, including through helping to deliver wider government support, while also taking a range of actions to ensure continuity of critical operations and the safety of staff and customers. In order to help inform tax administrations’ decision-making in these areas, the OECD Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), in co-operation with the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT) and the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations (IOTA), has produced two COVID-19 reference documents, one on measures to support taxpayers and one on business continuity considerations1. This third COVID-19 reference document looks at some of the main issues that tax administrations may wish to consider in their planning for the recovery period from the pandemic. This may be a lengthy period given the depth and scale of the economic shock and the likely continuing need for some containment measures.This document has been produced by the FTA Secretariat in collaboration with the Enterprise Risk Management Community of Interest and with the co-operation of CIAT and IOTA. It takes account of input provided by tax administrations, including through virtual meetings, surveys and bilateral discussions. This document does not make recommendations as regards particular measures since national circumstances and considerations will vary greatly. Introduction. 1. Recovery from the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s lives, jobs, businesses and the wider economy is likely to be lengthy, challenging and multifaceted. Tax administrations, which have played a critical role in the crisis period, will also be central to supporting therecovery. Even during the immediate crisis period there is likely to be significant benefit from early business restoration planning to help identify the main challenges and opportunities for both tax administrations and taxpayers and, where possible, to take early preparatory actions. 2. In undertaking business restoration planning, it will be important to take into account the distinguishing features of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other crises that are likely to persist during the recovery period. In particular, the continued risks to health, including from further outbreaks; the impacts on staff and administration systems as a result of the need for continuing adjustments; and the potential length and volatility of the recovery period given the depth and scale of the economic shock.3. Against this background, objectives of tax administrations in planning for the recovery period might include:•Maintaining the decision-making processes of the crisis stage into the recovery phase.The planning assumptions for the recovery phase should take into account the possibility of set-backs (and potentially major set-backs) in the containment of the virus, possible volatility of the economy, different recovery speeds for different households and sectors and potential new demands on tax administrations both for delivering support and for revenue raising to repair public finances. The possibility of additional shocks should also be factored-in, for example systems failures, high-impact frauds, natural disasters and other events. Against this uncertain background, maintaining the crisis stage decision-making processes, adjusted as appropriate, would be prudent so that rapid decisions can be made and communicated.•Effective joining-up with other parts of government.As well as taking supportive measures under their existing responsibilities, many tax administrations have also played a crucial role in delivering wider government support to affected taxpayers, such as the payment of grants and other financial reliefs. During the recovery period, the role of tax administrations within the wider government response will continue to be critical, and it will be important to join-up on decision-making. For example, tax administration decisions on debt recovery or normalisation of tax payments can have economy-wide effects. Decisions by policymakers on some forms of fiscal support through the tax administration may also fall short of desired outcomes unless administrability issues, effective targeting and fraud risks are fully taken into account. Tax administrations can also provide important information to policymakers on the shape and speed of the recovery.•Developing a dedicated communication strategy to support recovery. Most tax administrations have put in place COVID-19 crisis communication strategies. These have been both internal strategies to support staff and the effective operation of administration functions, and external strategies to provide timely information and support to taxpayers. During the recovery period, it would be sensible to refresh these strategies to take account of the move from a crisis to a prolonged and potentially difficult recovery period. In particular, consideration should be given as to how to best maintain the dual emphasis on a supportive relationship with taxpayers as well as bringing in tax revenue to fund public services.•Maintaining the safety of staff and taxpayers. Consideration will need to be given to how to maintain staff and taxpayer safety during the recovery period in light of continuing health risks. There will need to be detailed plans for ongoing safety precautions as offices start to reopen and potentially a continued period of remote working for some staff. It will be important to ensure that there is good communication and consultation with staff and staff representatives, including unions. It would also be prudent to have clear and transparent rapid response plans should there be a major set-back in the containment of the virus, including on a localised basis, to avoid delays, prevent unnecessary risks and provide reassurance to staff and taxpayers. •Planning and prioritisation of the steps towards normalisation of administration functions. During the recovery period, tax administrations must not lose sight of the priority of maintaining critical tax administration functions in case of any setbacks. It would be sensible to plan now for any urgent system maintenance or further systems development, including for the effective and secure delivery of continuing government support. Administrations may also wish to ask those responsible for separate tax administration functions to draw up strategies for a return to normalisation, for example as regards compliance activities, debt recovery, dealing with backlogs, IT maintenance etc. Ideally such strategies would reflect the different considerations which might arise under different recovery scenarios. The production of such strategies may help in ensuring that decisions are taken and communicated in a holistic mannerand make it easier to make rapid adjustments where necessary. •Logging of lessons learned and updating of business continuity plans. Logging of actions taken during both the crisis and recovery period, including their rationale and impact, will be important both for transparency purposes (for example independent reviews) and for the updating of business continuity plans to ensure readiness for a recurrence of COVID-19 or a similar crisis. Tax administrations may wish to do this on a systematic and consistent basis, to ensure that full information is captured, issues identified and early remedial actions are taken where appropriate.