In memory of Douglas Rankin (1951 - 2018)

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death after a short illness of Douglas Rankin, formerly of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the U.K.  Douglas will be known to members of the CATA family all over the Commonwealth not only as a former Vice Chairman of CATA but also in a direct and personal capacity as a very friendly, knowledgeable and truly inspirational resource person who gave his time freely to students attending the Taxation of International Transactions programme held each year in Malaysia.

Dato’ Sri Sabin Samitah, CEO Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, has paid the following tribute to Douglas:

 “To us, Douglas was not just a resource person who has dedicated his time and energy sharing his expertise in international taxation over a good number of years in the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, but was a friend who had our utmost respect for his professionalism. He was smart, witty and cheerful. He made the learning experience fun and never boring. He was much loved and is dearly missed by all of us.”

Read more tributes here

Douglas grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. After graduating from St Andrews University he trained initially as a teacher and taught mathematics, rising to the position of Deputy Headmaster of Beaumont School in St Albans.

Then, in a mid career change Douglas left teaching to join HMRC (then known as the Inland Revenue) and retrained as an inspector of taxes. As a member of HMRC’s International Division in the 1990s he amassed considerable experience and expertise in dealing with difficult tax cases involving thin capitalisation and transfer pricing and subsequently used that knowledge to great effect both in his next role as a negotiator of double taxation treaties in HMRC’s Treaty team, and as a resource person on the Taxation of International Transactions programme in Malaysia, where his previous experience as a teacher also proved invaluable.

As Vice Chairman of CATA's Management Committee from 2006 until 2011, Douglas helped greatly to ensure the future of the Association by carefully shaping its objectives and work programme.  And no one present will ever forget the entertaining way in which he compered each “CATA Night” (the party which traditionally ends each conference), resplendent - as a proud Scotsman - in his kilt and deploying his infectious humour to the full.

Douglas impressed everyone he met with his seemingly endless energy and the way in which he applied this with such passion to achieving what he believed was right.

Above everything he was a genuinely nice man, kind, considerate and well intentioned in everything he did.


CATA has lost a good friend. He will be sorely missed.

Gerry Cook