14 August 2017

South Africa: Op-Ed - High-Level Tax Dialogue to Stem Africa Bleeding Billions

analysis

Illicit financial flows cost South Africa billions, and despite increased awareness, efforts to clampdown have been elusive to date. A first-of-its-kind tax dialogue in Uganda later this week hopes to find ways to plug the holes, among broader efforts to mobilise revenue for countries throughout Africa. By LOGAN WORT.

The upcoming high-level tax dialogue organised by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) in Kampala, Uganda, comes at an opportune time. It comes at a time when stemming illicit financial flows and improving domestic resource mobilisation in Africa is crucial if Africa is to improve the lives of its citizens and meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa estimates that Africa is currently losing more than $50-billion annually in IFFs. Much of this relates to tax avoidance and tax evasion. This is illustrated by the recent investigation by Tanzania which uncovered that one of its major mining companies, in order to avoid paying taxes and royalties to the government, undervalued its mining outputs. Media reports indicate that if the government findings are accurate, the extent of the undervaluation is enormous, amounting to almost $4-billion annually (one-tenth of Tanzania's GDP)....

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