- Experts Seek Improved Tax Regime in Africa
Tax experts across Africa are unanimous in their quest for an efficient tax regime in the continent.
They made this clarion call during the just concluded African Tax Administration Forum’s High-level Tax Policy Dialogue, held in Kigali, Rwanda.
The continental gathering organised by the African Tax Administration Forum and hosted by the Rwanda Revenue Authority, brought together key stakeholders from African Ministries of Finance and Tax Administrations in a bid to ensure coordinated tax policy and tax administration decisions and actions towards effective domestic resource mobilisation on the continent.
Building on the conclusions of the first edition of the Dialogue held in Kampala, Uganda, from 15 – 16 August 2017, the theme selected for this year’s edition was ‘Reinforcing Africa’s position to benefit from the Global Tax Agenda.’
Representatives of African Ministries of finance and Tax administrations explored the recent advances in global tax standards and how these affect African countries whether members of the OECD Inclusive Framework or not. Ministers will debate how best African countries can deal with the fast-changing global tax agenda while pursuing domestic policy priorities such as domestic resource mobilization towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
The African Tax Administration Forum subsequently launched the 2018 edition of the African Tax Outlook (ATO), its flagship publication which serves as a ’s objective is to provide reliable source of information on taxation and, therefore, constitutes a solid that will serve as an African and global benchmark for tax policy formulation and tax administration reforms in formulating tax policies and tax administration reforms across Africa.
The 2018 ATO publication brings together valuable, practical and relevant descriptive and analytical work on tax issues for the period of 2010 – 2016 from 26 African countries, referred to as the “ATO countries.”
It is the first-ever attempt by African tax authorities to compare, in a consistent fashion, the ways in which African tax authorities raise revenue. It assesses and compares 26 countries against indicators in seven broad categories: total tax revenue, individual taxes, non-tax revenue, tax and customs administration structures and functions, service management, compliance management and human resource in tax administration. The indicators are crucial to African tax authorities as they implement reforms and policies to broaden the tax base, narrow tax gaps, simplify and improve fairness in tax systems, enhance overall voluntary compliance, and keep policy makers informed on tax matters.
Speaking at separate sessions, a senior official of the RRA (Programme Director), Mr Richard Tusabe (Commissioner General, RRA), Mr Logan Wort (ATAF Executive Secretary), Mr. Babatunde Fowler – ATAF Chairman impressed on the tax practitioners across the continent, the need to be fully equipped to manage the demands and gain the benefits in the fast-changing global tax agenda while balancing the pursuit of domestic policy priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Besides, the experts reviewed the ongoing African input into the global tax agenda, and its achievements over the last five years, noting that the country experiences and case studies will feature, in particular, the progress made by Africa in influencing the creation of and meeting the challenges of developing and implementing the minimum global standards in international taxation, as well as the EOI process and other tax transparency initiatives such as the implementation of the CBCR.