ATAF technical tax assistance helps Africa recover US$1,73bn
Prosper Ndlovu, [email protected]
AFRICAN countries have recovered nearly US$1,73 billion following technical tax assistance support programme provided by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF).
Since 2016 a total of 675 audits were opened while 412 were closed and tax assessments amounting to US$4.38 billion have been raised through transfer pricing audit assessments.
As part of efforts to drive increase domestic revenue mobilization to buttress development in the region, the Pan-African tax body, ATAF continues to provide technical assistance to member countries in international tax matters through their country programmes.
Usually, technical tax assistance is demand-driven, which means, the tax administration requests the technical assistance from ATAF and during the initial scoping after the request is received, other areas not initially requested may be identified for further support.
In 2023 alone, 52 cross-border taxation missions in key sectors such as agriculture, oil, mining, and telecommunications, reaching 12 countries including Botswana, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have been delivered to date.
Out of these missions, 73 percent involved real-time audits, enhancing member countries’ tax compliance mechanisms, said ATAF in the latest media update in which it noted that this was through real time tax audit technical assistance through the organization’s long-term transfer pricing programmes.
“The audit support missions resulted in additional tax assessments of US$39.2 million from January to August (2023). In the same timeframe, US$1,7 million was collected from transfer pricing audits,” said ATAF.
The Zambia Revenue Authority, for instance, has reported to ATAF that the technical assistance provided by ATAF has helped them to address transfer pricing non-compliance and collect additional tax.
Commenting on the positive impact of the programme, ATAF has said that its technical assistance interventions are designed to build skills, capacity and expertise within the revenue administrations to better audit taxpayers, resulting in better audit assessments, which then translates to increased revenue collection.
“The programmes are customized to each countries tax administration needs,” said ATAF.