Coordinated Management of Mozambique’s Borders: Challenges for Implementation

On January 26, 2016, the World Customs Organization (WCO) celebrated 64 years of representing customs administrations (now numbering 180 and accounting for approximately 98% of international trade). The WCO promotes the use of information and communication technologies by customs administrations and other stakeholders under the motto: “Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement.”

Customs authorities in Mozambique began using information technologies in 1997 with the Trade Information System (TIMS), and Mozambique upgraded to the Single Electronic Window in 2011. The Single Electronic Window currently processes 90% of import and export declarations.

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Astana-Houston Videoconference with Kazakhstan Officials

On 17 February, ITIC chaired a Caspian Mineral Tax Committee (CMTC) videoconference linking senior Kazakhstan tax officials with oil and gas industry representatives gathered in Houston as part of EY’s annual CIS energy tax conference. Below are highlights of the discussion, which focused on BEPS implementation and the tax and customs reform agenda in Kazakhstan. Fiscal legislation regulating these issues will be submitted to the Parliament in early Fall 2016. ITIC will continue to monitor this process and advise sponsors of opportunities for comment and analysis.

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International Tax Review releases “Global Tax 50”

The International Tax Review has released its annual “Global Tax 50” list, and we are pleased to congratulate our colleagues associated with ITIC who made the list:

  • William Morris
    Global Tax Policy Director, GE
    Member of the ITIC Executive Committee and Board of Directors (#6 on the Top 50 list)
  • Parthasarathi Shome
    Chairman, International Tax Research and Analysis Foundation (ITRAF)
    Member of the ITIC Board of Directors

  • Mike Williams
    Director of International Tax, HM Treasury
    Featured speaker at ITIC’s 2015 Board of Directors’ Dinner

Azerbaijan: Tax and Investment Update

On 29 January 2016, the World Bank made an important announcement related to the IMF/World Bank mission to Azerbaijan. The Bank’s statement read in part:

In response to numerous media inquiries, the World Bank would like to clarify the following: 
The World Bank is discussing with the Government of Azerbaijan a set of medium- and long-term measures to move to a new private-sector led growth model and increase the country’s resilience to external shocks, including low oil prices and pressure on the local currency. The Government of Azerbaijan is developing a comprehensive program of structural reforms, and the World Bank, as a long-term development partner of Azerbaijan, stands ready to provide necessary support.

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Partho Shome, ITIC Board Member, leads Indian Tax Administration Reform Commission

On 26 January 2016, several leading Indian newspapers reported on a speech by Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley at the Platinum Jubilee celebration of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

Referring to the report of the Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) chaired by Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, Minister Jaitley said, “The Shome Committee report…has suggested reforms in tax administration…(it) has given several recommendations that we are at a very advanced stage of looking into.” There was widespread media speculation that the Finance Minister would address TARC recommendations in the forthcoming Union (national) Budget on 28 February. Continue reading “Partho Shome, ITIC Board Member, leads Indian Tax Administration Reform Commission”

ITIC Releases Principles for Developing Country Hydrocarbon Investment Policies

The International Tax and Investment Center, a nonprofit research and educational organization, has developed a set of principles for hydrocarbon investment policies that experts believe will assist in the dialogue between developing countries and prospective oil and gas exploration and development investors. The Principles for Developing Country Hydrocarbon Investment Policies are designed as a possible framework for collaboration between countries and investors to ensure countries obtain full value for their resources while attracting and sustaining the substantial investments and operational expertise needed for efficient, safe and environmentally sound resource development. Continue reading “ITIC Releases Principles for Developing Country Hydrocarbon Investment Policies”