After the authorities of the tax administrations of countries of the Americas visited the United States in 1965 to learn about and discuss on site issues of tax administration, Sheldon Cohen y Harold Moss, at the time Commissioner and Director, respectively, of the International Assistance Office of the US Internal Revenue Service, had the vision to create an organization that could serve as a permanent forum to address tax administration issues.
A Steering Committee was designated in order to lay the groundwork for a multilateral tax administrators’ organization. The members of the Committee were Sheldon Cohen and Harold Moss (USA), Roberto Hoyo and Alfredo Gutiérrez (Mexico), Jaime Ross and Tomás Aguayo (Chile), Menalco Solís and Targidio Bernal (Panama) and Edison Gnazzo and Emilio Vidal (Uruguay). In the meetings held in 1965 and 1966, said Committee drafted the organization’s Bylaws.
In May 1967, in the first General Assembly held in Panama, the Bylaws of the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrators (CIAT) were approved.
In 1997 a change in the Center’s name was approved, becoming the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations, to emphasize the organization’s institutional nature.
Evolution of CIAT’s Activities
Until 1977, CIAT’s activities were mainly focused on the organization of international meetings (annual Assembly, conferences and technical seminars), the publication of a newsletter and the creation and maintenance of a library specialized in tax matters. That same year, a Technical Cooperation Agreement was signed with the Federal Republic of Germany, whereby said country appointed a permanent mission to CIAT, which was of great benefit to the organization and its member countries. The Agreement was in place until 1997 and facilitated CIAT’s entering into the field of technical assistance.
In 1982 and 1983, technical cooperation agreements were signed with France and Spain, respectively, as a result of which permanent missions of said countries were appointed to CIAT’s headquarters in Panama. Such agreements allowed CIAT to strengthen activities for the benefit of its member countries.
In addition, in 1983, the Regional Technical Cooperation Project on the Single Taxpayers’ Registry and Current Account, RUC/CC (as per the Spanish acronym) was undertaken for Central America and the Caribbean, financed by the IDB and administered by CIAT. The Center then started acting as a specialized agency rendering technical assistance services for the tax administrations of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 1989, in the General Assembly held in Uruguay, the reform of the Bylaws was approved, creating the category of Associate Member Countries. This enabled the accession under such status of Spain and Portugal in 1990, France in 1991, Italy in 1995, and The Netherlands in 1996.
The institutional evolution process continued in the course of the 1990’s with, on the one hand, the increasing use of information technology and management tools like strategic planning, and, on the other, the increasing interest and commitment on the part of the European associate member countries, five of which became full members in 2001. Another significant event in the history of CIAT was the incorporation as member countries of Kenya, India, Curazao, Sint Maarten, Guyana and Angola.
The participation of all these countries has made it possible to significantly increase and improve CIAT’s chances to meet its purpose of supporting the strengthening and modernization of the tax administrations of its member countries.
As such CIAT it maintains close relations with other institutions and has signed cooperation agreements with the most relevant public and private international entities specialized in tax matters.