Africa: VAT Administrators in Africa Deliberate On Revenue Mobilisation in Accra

A three-day technical workshop aimed at building the capacity and expertise in domestic revenue mobilisation of revenue administrators on the continent begun in Accra yesterday.

Organised by VAT Administrators in Africa (VADA), this year's event focused on the topics: 'Auditing Techniques in VAT with emphasis on E-Commerce and Audit of Telecommunication Companies-Interconnectivity Cost and Revenue.'

Welbeck Asare Asamoah, Executive Secretary of VADA, said the workshop was to build the capacity of revenue authorities in the various member countries of the association.

He noted that the discussions would focus on emerging trends in the revenue industry due to accelerated growth in the telecommunication industry and the emerging trend of businesses operating online.

"It is essential that revenue authorities are abreast with how to track revenue in E-Commerce and how to efficiently partner with the telecommunication industries to rake in revenue to help the economy," he added.

Deputy Commissioner-Small Tax Payer, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Daniel Edisi, indicated that about 40 tax administrators from seven countries including Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Ghana would partake in this year's event.

He added that the essence of the workshop was to share experiences from member countries on the success, challenges and techniques relating to the auditing techniques on VAT, with emphasis on e-commerce and telecommunication.

"During the last decade, we have witnessed important changes in the business world where business is conducted through electronic commerce and sales are being made without businesses meeting physically.

"To monitor and account for these sales is one of the key reasons why this workshop is being held," he added.

Mr Edisi advised member countries to undertake far- reaching reforms and modernisation programmes with the aim of improving their internal processes, systems and procedures to respond appropriately to the growing needs of the taxpayer and the changing business environment.

"The amount of information and data potentially at the disposal of tax administrators is enormous. However, without the adoption of the appropriate technological solutions, the full potential may not be realised as huge revenue would be lost," he added.

Leading the workshop were Emmy Mbera, Head of Electronic Billing System-Rwanda's Revenue Authority and Bahiyyih Basemera, Acting Manager Services Unit, Large Tax Payers Office-Uganda's Revenue Authority.

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