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Kieran Holmes has over 35 years of experience in revenue administration and tax policy development in Europe, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. He is a member of the I.M.F. (Fiscal Affairs Department) Panel of Experts and the World Bank Tax Thematic Group.


  • Commissioner General of the Revenue Authority of Burundi since June 2010.
  • Consulted for DFID, EU, IMF, UNDP, World Bank and private consulting firms.
  • Substantial experience in project management.
  • Initiated and successfully concluded tax reforms in Africa, the Pacific and the Middle East.
  • Consulted on tax incentives for investment promotion.
  • Assisted in tax policy formulation in developing countries, particularly in the areas of tax simplification and revenue enhancement measures.
  • Active in Civil Service reform projects.
  • Prepared strategic business plans, business process re-engineering plans, computerisation plans, training plans, inception plans and communications strategies.
  • Gained a background of institutional development, systems and forms design, improvement of procedures, development of training programmes and preparation of audit manuals.
  • Participated in negotiating double taxation agreements.

Kieran Holmes is a skilled adviser who has successfully utilised his leadership, tax policy and administration skills in the international development arena for almost 30 years, often demonstrating immediate and spectacular results for the countries in which he has worked.

Born in the UK and brought up in Ireland, Kieran graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in economics. He joined the Irish Revenue Commissioners, rising on completion of 4 ¼ years’ training in tax and accounting to the post of Higher Grade Inspector of Taxes.

In 1984, at the age of 31, Kieran left Ireland with his family and took charge of the tax administration of Kiribati in the Central Pacific where he was responsible for a 400% sustained increase in revenue during his six years in the country. He worked with the IMF on a new tax law and was responsible for Kiribati’s first negotiated agreement for the avoidance of double taxation with its main trading partner, Australia.

The 1990s took him to Africa where he worked in Lesotho and Swaziland, again creating new tax laws, better tax administration and new double taxation agreements to improve the business environments in those countries. Sustained revenue gains in Lesotho amounted to a 2000% increase.

In 2003 he moved to Rwanda where he worked as adviser to the Commissioner General of the Rwanda Revenue Authority and project manager for DFID. Through the introduction of new tax laws, new computer systems in tax and customs, a double taxation agreement with Belgium and a 700% sustained increase in revenues between 2003 and 2009, the Government of Rwanda saw a massive injection of capital into the public coffers, allowing it to invest in much sought public goods and services.

Kieran took over management of the new Office Burundais des Recettes in June 2010 and has guided the tax reform exercise in Burundi since that date. So as to address the Government’s aspirations to become financially independent of international assistance, new tax laws have been enacted and the customs administration has been computerized with a web-based system allowing declarants to file from their offices. The OBR is now collecting as much revenue in six months as what formerly took a year to collect.

Kieran is a dedicated development professional who has successfully leveraged an enormous range of personal and professional skills to greatly strengthen the states in which he has worked.


Speech from the UK’ Secretary of State which refers to my work in Burundi

A UN Security Council Resolution which refers in its main opening paragraph to the importance of the work of the Burundi Revenue Authority
Hansard which covers a Westminster Hall debate and refers to my work in Burundi & Rwanda

A cartoon from the IWACU newspaper in Burundi depicting my efforts to stop smuggling into Burundi