South Africa: Tax Inspectors Without Borders Saves Millions


Emerging economies lose billions in revenue each year to tax avoidance, and these lost resources prevent millions of people from getting an education, accessing healthcare, or simply being able to survive.

A joint initiative between the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has helped retrieve lost income by helping countries to close tax loopholes, improve transparency, and most critically, reduce tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.

It is paying off.

The OECD and UNDP programme called Tax Inspectors without Borders (TIWB) has been such a success that it has spurred interest in expanding it into other areas including tax crime investigations, joint audits, automatic exchange of information, tax treaty negotiations and dispute resolution.

Pilot programmes are already underway in some of these areas, according to the OECD TIWB Annual Report 2018/19 that was released at the end of September.

TIWB efforts have added nearly $500-million in revenue to the fiscal wallets of developing countries up to April 2019, following its launch in July 2015.

Among the partner, administrations are those engaged in South-South co-operation -- India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. TIWB programmes are also supported by a UNDP roster of...

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