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Tax Transparency In Africa Report For Launch On Tuesday

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – This year’s edition of the Tax Transparency in Africa report has been scheduled for launch on Tuesday in Nairobi, Kenyan.

The launch is part of the 11th meeting of the Africa Initiative, slated for 14-16 June in the east African nation. The conference will gather experts from tax administrations, regional and international organisations, academia, and civil society organisations.

Tax Transparency in Africa is a key output of the Africa Initiative, a programme established in 2014 to ensure that African countries are equipped to exploit the latest improvements in global transparency to better tackle tax evasion and other illicit financial flows.

The 2022 edition, a co-production of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (The Global Forum), the African Union Commission and the African Tax Administration Forum, covers 38 African countries. It informs decision-makers and citizens about the continent’s latest progress and challenges.

The African Development Bank Group has been an Observer of the Global Forum since 2015. It has played a crucial role in policy dialogue with African member countries on tax transparency and the exchange of information. It also contributes to the Tax Transparency in Africa report.

Some of the eminent dignitaries expected at the launch include, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury & Planning of Kenya, Mr. Ukur Yatani, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD, Mr. Yoshiki Takeuchi, Chair of Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, Ms Maria José Garde, Commissioner General of Kenya Revenue Authority / Chair of the Africa Initiative, Mr Githii Mburu.

Others are, Chair of Kenya Revenue Authority Board, Mr. Francis Muthaura, Commissioner of South African Revenue Services/Vice-Chair of the Africa Initiative, Mr. Edward Kieswetter, Deputy Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at OECD, Ms Grace Perez-Navarro, Head of Secretariat, Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, Ms Zayda Manatta and the Executive Secretary, African Tax Administration Forum, Mr. Logan Wort.

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is a multilateral framework for tax transparency and information sharing, within which over 160 jurisdictions participate on an equal footing, including 32 African countries.

Transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes is about putting an end to bank secrecy and tax evasion through global tax co-operation. The Global Forum is a key international body working on the implementation of international standards. It ensures that these high standards are in place around the world through its monitoring and peer review activities.

As the world has become increasingly globalised, it has also become increasingly straightforward for taxpayers to move their financial activities across the world. While this has brought great benefits, it has also provided the opportunity for taxpayers to look to hide their financial affairs from tax authorities in order to evade tax.

While estimates vary, not least due to the inherent difficulties in calculating it, the amount of hidden wealth across the world is thought to be highly significant. This not only reduces the revenues available to provide necessary public services, but also risks undermining the public’s confidence in the tax system and globalisation itself, and damages the reputation of international financial centres.

A multilateral response that ensures much closer linkages and working practices between tax authorities across the world provides for an effective response to address these risks, ensuring that tax authorities can, in effect, see across borders to ensure that all taxpayers pay the tax that is due.

The Global Forum provides a multilateral response to tackle offshore tax evasion. It brings together over 160 jurisdictions dedicated to improving transparency and the exchange of information for tax purposes. It does this through promoting and ensuring the effective implementation of two complementary international standards, both of which provide for closer co-operation between tax authorities worldwide so that they can obtain information necessary to ensure tax compliance, such as on cross-border investments.

The Global Forum monitors the worldwide implementation of these standards and conducts peer reviews to ensure the standards are implemented effectively. It also provides for a forum for its members to discuss these issues and delivers technical assistance to its members to support them in implementing the standards.

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