Richard Highfield is a highly experienced tax professional having worked at very senior levels of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the fiscal areas of two major international organisations (IMF and OECD) and gained a wealth of tax experience in a domestic and international context. He has an extensive knowledge of tax policy, technical and administration issues in a wide variety of developed and developing countries.
He is a former Second Commissioner (a statutory appointment) of the ATO and also former Head of the Tax Administration Division Head, in the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. In the latter role he provided leadership and management oversight of the Centre's programs of work of work dealing with domestic tax administration; consumption taxes; and the International Tax Dialogue (a collaborative venture established by the OECD, IMF and World Bank). As Head of the Division he initiated much of the ground work and planning for the creation of the OECD's Forum on Tax Administration, now widely regarded as the pre-eminent forum grouping for heads of national revenue bodies.
Currently he is a Senior Advisor to the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration as well as providing high level consultancy and advice to the senior management of the ATO. He was invited to participate in the October 2011 Tax Forum in Canberra, and has contributed on a regular basis as a keynote speaker and chair to Atax international tax administration conferences. He conceived and oversees the preparation of the OECD's Comparative Information Series on tax administration (5th edition in 2013) and has been the primary author of more than 12 major reports and publications issued by the OECD in the period since 2005 on behalf of the Forum on Tax Administration.