Africa: ATAF Brings Tax Information Close to Member Countries, Others

Launches a digital library

The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) has launched a Tax Administration Library (TAL), a digital repository of publications produced by African tax administrations to make tax information available digitally for accessibility to a larger audience.

This online library, the first of its kind, will enable users to access a wide range of materials produced by ATAF member countries, thus promoting knowledge sharing and peer learning. The TAL aims to serve as a central repository of home-grown knowledge and experience on African tax administration and tax policy which will become a valuable resource for its members and other stakeholders.

By having access to information from other ATAF member states, African tax administrations can learn from their peers about the good practices, successful reforms and policy initiatives they have implemented and leverage these in seeking to improve tax systems in their own countries.

With the presence of the library, academics and other researchers will have access to key documents from tax administrations across the continent, thus making it easier to conduct cross-country research, comparisons and benchmarking and pinpoint areas in tax policy and administration that warrant further research.

Researchers from ATAF Secretariat and member countries will also use the TAL publications to substantiate ATAF's African Tax Outlook (ATO) annual publications and related research papers by providing explanations to tax trends observed in member countries.

The TAL will also provide the ATAF Secretariat and other players such as TADAT assessors and development partners one central place to access many of the documents they require to carry out desktop research in preparation for their field visits, country missions and other interventions on the African continent. Access to other donor-funded study reports can further help development partners avoid duplication of work and encourage collaboration in Africa.

The TAL digital library will house a wide range of publications produced by ATAF member countries. These publications are subjected to a vetting process by a panel comprising tax experts from the ATAF Secretariat, academics, and mandated tax administration officials to ensure that publications deemed beneficial to the ATAF membership and other stakeholders are selected.

Publications included in the digital library are organizational publications such annual reports, strategic or corporate plans, and monitoring reports; operational information such as tax expenditure reports, revenue mobilization strategies, project evaluation reports, revenue analysis reports/revenue performance reports, and tax statistics reports and concept notes for key projects, research documents such as research papers, donor-funded study reports, journal articles, policy briefs, working papers and essays, and communication and Tax Education material such as newsletters, bulletins, fact sheets, curriculum manuals, cartoons, and comics and other relevant material.

Others also include legal documents such as Taxation Acts/Legislation and amendments. It is intended that, at a later stage, the TAL will also include publications of tax decisions of appeals and applications adjudicated upon by the courts in ATAF member countries. These cases, coupled with the Taxation Acts, legislation, or amendments to the acts will permit peer review of major tax laws and facilitate the collection of regional and continental precedence of major tax cases which can inform the drafting of model tax laws.

Additionally, the launch of the TAL is particularly timely as it has coincided with the lockdowns due to the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which has forced many workplaces to close and migrate to online platforms to enable their employees to continue their work from home. Tax administrations too have had to adapt to these challenges while continuing their operations. The TAL offers tax officials, scholars, development partners, and other stakeholders a wealth of information and data from key publications produced by African tax administrations at the click of a button.

The TAL can be accessed via the ATAF website https://www.ataftax.org/tax-administration-library. Users are required to register an account on the ATAF website. To do so, click on the Research tab on the home page and then click on Tax Administration Library. Users must register by clicking on the 'register' button of the TAL platform. Once registered, users can click on the login button of the TAL to access the library. You can also use the links provided below to register and log in. Registration link: https://myaccount.ataftax.org/register/.

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