OECD - Tax Transparency in Africa 2020 - 2020 edition

The 2020 edition shows significant progress made on the two pillars of the Africa Initiative:

(i) political awareness and commitment in Africa and (ii) capacity development of African countries in terms of tax transparency and information exchange.

25/06/2020 : Africa Tax Transparency 2020, launched today as part of the Africa Initiative, describes the status of 32 African Union member states that are members of the Initiative and three non-members. It shows the progress made on the two cornerstones of the Initiative: (i) political awareness and commitment, and (ii) capacity development in tax transparency and information exchange (EOI). Tax transparency and expression of interest have a crucial role to play in helping African governments to stem illicit financial flows (IFFs) and increase domestic revenue mobilization.

 

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"The current COVID-19 crisis will completely end any tolerance for all forms of tax evasion."

Said Maria José Garde, President of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

Main conclusions of the report

The EOI network of African countries has grown rapidly. It reached 3,262 bilateral relations in 2019, compared to 685 in 2013. This is mainly due to the growing number of countries adhering to the Convention of Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. The number of EOI requests sent by African countries has increased eightfold since the launch of the Initiative in 2014. These impressive developments have directly translated into additional tax revenues. Enabling a group of eight African countries to secure $ 189 million in additional revenue between 2014 and 2019.

Encouraging developments have also been observed in the implementation of Automatic Information Exchange (AEOI):

Ghana started trading in 2019, joining Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa. Nigeria is expected to start in 2020 and Morocco in 2021. Assistance is underway with five countries to help them progress towards the implementation of this standard. Interest in AEOI had been aroused by the remarkable results of voluntary disclosure programs launched before the first exchanges. (with 102 billion euros recovered worldwide, including 82 million dollars in Nigeria and 296 million dollars in South Africa).

Expanding partnerships for tax transparency

Three other African countries joined the Global Forum last year and six added their weight to the Yaoundé Declaration. Active partnerships with:

-the African Union Commission,

-the African Development Bank,

-the African Tax Administration Forum,

-the Circle of Reflection and Exchange of Directors of Tax Administrations,

-the Forum on Tax Administration in West Africa,

-the World Bank Group

have contributed significantly to the fight against FFI and have helped increase political advocacy across the continent.

HE. Professor Victor Harison, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission, called:

"All member states to participate in international tax cooperation by implementing tax transparency strategies that fight against illicit financial flows (IFFs) and mitigate tax evasion on the continent". He further noted that the mobilization of national resources is essential for the transformation, self-reliance and sovereignty of the continent in order to build an endogenous economy and achieve Agenda 2063.

Remaining challenges

Despite progress, significant challenges remain. Among which :

-extension of staff knowledge,

- the availability of information on the beneficial owners

-effective implementation of EAO.

Thirty training events have been organized since 2015 and more than a thousand officials from 44 African countries have been trained.

According to Mr. Logan Wort, Executive Secretary of ATAF: “Now more than ever, the work to increase transparency is important for Africa, and the collaborative efforts of ATAF and the Global Forum will empower African countries. to increase their exchange of information while contributing to the fight against illicit financial flows. "

The Global Forum and its partners will continue to help African countries resolve outstanding issues and help them bridge the divide with other jurisdictions.

“Tax Transparency in Africa 2020” is a joint publication of the Global Forum on Transparency and Information Exchange for Tax Purposes, the African Union Commission and the African Tax Administration Forum. It is the result of the Africa Initiative that the African Development Bank, the Cercle de Réflexion et d'Échange des Dirigeants des Administrations Fiscales, the Forum de l'Administration Fiscale en West Africa and the Bank Group world also argue. The Africa Initiative is financially supported by the European Union:

  • France (Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs),
  • Norway (Norwegian Agency for Cooperation and Development),
  • Switzerland (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs),
  • the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).

http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/documents/Tax-Transparency-in-Africa-2020.pdf

Virginie Gastine Menou
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