Study Group on Asian Tax Administration and Research


Key dates & events

SGATAR, as it is known today, is the evolutionary product of a series of key decisions and events which occurred throughout its history.

  • The first SGATAR Meeting was hosted by the Philippines in 1971. The meeting took place in Manila.
  • At the 3rd SGATAR Meeting (1973), the Study Group rejected the idea of creating a permanent body (the ACTAR), to act as a clearing house for the exchange of information and to conduct seminars and conferences. The proposal for a permanent secretariat was raised again by China at the 28th SGATAR Meeting (1998), at which time it again failed to be endorsed.
  • At the 4th SGATAR Meeting (1974), the Study Group’s membership was expanded to include jurisdictions in the Pacific, namely Australia and New Zealand.
  • By the 25th SGATAR Meeting (1995), member jurisdictions agreed on two main criteria for admitting new members: acceptance would be determined by a consensus vote and membership limited to national tax administrations only.
  • In 1997, the hosting cycle was updated to include China, which was the host of the 28th SGATAR Meeting in 1998.
  • The first Head Forum meeting was held in Beijing during the 28th SGATAR Meeting (1998).
  • At the 28th SGATAR Meeting (1998), Thailand proposed the Working Level Meetings between the annual SGATAR meetings would enable members to share knowledge and discuss in-depth issues. Thailand hosted the 1st Working Level Meeting in 1999.
  • At the 30th SGATAR Meeting (2000), Japan noted that other international organisations, notably the OECD, were seeking cooperation with regional organisations like SGATAR. After receiving an invitation to participate in 2001, the OECD has continuously sent representatives to various SGATAR meetings.
  • At the 31st SGATAR Meeting (2001), Malaysia proposed a mechanism for international staff training. This resulted in the establishment of the SGATAR Joint Training Programs (JTPs) and biennial Meetings of Heads of Training Institutions (MHTIs). Malaysia hosted the 1st MHTI at the National Tax Academy in 2002.
  • At the 35th SGATAR Meeting (2005), the Head Forum reviewed the admission criteria with a view to keeping SGATAR membership to a manageable size. These now include geographical, capacity and compatibility considerations, among others.
  • At the 43rd SGATAR Head Forum Meeting (2013), a special-purpose Taskforce was established to review the ‘future of SGATAR‘. The Taskforce consisted of Australia, China, Korea and Singapore. A Summary Report was presented to the Head Forum at the 44th SGATAR (2014) which included recommendations for endorsement.
  • At the 44th SGATAR Meeting (2014), a mission statement and set of strategic objectives were formally adopted by the Heads of Delegations (HODs) at the Head Forum. A new rotating Taskforce was formally established to take the lead in driving the work of SGATAR and to provide continuity in between Annual Meetings. A review of SGATAR subsidiary groups and existing governance arrangements was also initiated.
  • At the 45th SGATAR Meeting (2015) the Taskforce presented on a number of initiatives worked on during the year including the creation of a permanent SGATAR website; a review of the SGATAR subsidiary events with a recommendation to reorganise training programmes into a single and cohesive platform; and the creation of an operating framework setting out how SGATAR’s mission, objectives and the manner in which programmes should be carried out.
  • At the 46th SGATAR Meeting (2016), the Taskforce presented to the HODs on the initiatives that had been worked on during the year including amendments to the SGATAR operating framework; the creation of a SGATAR Communications Guide; clarification around the existing geographical boundaries in the SGATAR membership rules; and the creation of a transfer pricing competency roadmap and training curriculum.