On 17 March 2017, the Mozambique Revenue Authority (MRA) introduced a requirement for excise stamps on alcohol beverages and tobacco products pursuant to laws and regulations adopted to establish procedures for sealing alcohol beverages and tobacco manufactured products subject to excise duties. Continue reading “Mozambique Revenue Authority Launches Excise Stamps”
On 10 May, the IMF released its Sub-Saharan Africa economic outlook, Restarting the Growth Engine. The report is available (in English and French) on the IMF’s website.
The report features a comprehensive examination of the informal sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the IMF estimating that the informal sector contributes 25%-65% of GDP and 30%-90% of nonagricultural employment. From a domestic revenue mobilization perspective, this significant portion of Sub-Saharan African economies represents potential budget revenues. Institutional challenges remain, however, when it comes to encouraging the conversion of the informal sector into the formal sector. A large tax burden and overly cumbersome compliance requirements are likely to have the paradoxical effect of encouraging economic activity to remain in the informal sector. The transformation of digital technologies and services in many Sub-Saharan Africa economies presents opportunities for converting the informal sector, while not creating onerous tax or administrative compliance burdens.
These topics will be further explored as technical sessions in ITIC’s Africa Tax Dialogue later this year, including examination of successful country case studies.
Dan Witt is President of the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC).
Source: 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, Interactive Heat Map (The Heritage Foundation)
On 15 February, the Heritage Foundation published its annual report entitled, 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, comparing the performance of 186 economies. One key factor influencing the conclusions and rankings is the Tax Burden parameter of the Government Size performance measurement criterion. Continue reading “2017 Index of Economic Freedom”
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) defines electronic commerce (e-commerce) as “commercial activities conducted through an exchange of information generated, stored or communicated by electronic optical or analogs means…”
With e-commerce now accounting for 80 percent of all global commerce, there is an urgent need to regulate these transactions to meet tax policy objectives of broadening the tax base and eliminating erosion. Taxing e-commerce will ensure equal treatment of national production and imports of the same product in order to avoid market distortion. The lack of a standard legal framework can lead to double taxation or double non-taxation; and different regimes for taxation of electronic goods sold electronically and sales of national products in the non-electronic market can distort overall market equity.
Hosted by ITIC, in cooperation the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA), over 60 tax officials, leading academic specialists and private-sector representatives from 18 countries convened in Cape Town on 15-17 November 2016 for the Eighth Africa Tax Dialogue to discuss the balance between domestic revenue mobilization and enhancing the investment climate. Continue reading “Summary Report – Eighth Africa Tax Dialogue”
In 2016, ITIC organized or participated in dozens of events around the world, bringing together public-sector stakeholders, industry representatives, and academics to foster mutual understanding and trust on taxation matters. Below are several ITIC highlights from 2016.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) aims to become a Free Trade Area, Customs Union, Common Market, and Monetary Union through the introduction of the single currency, with support for regional integration by Member States utilizing the basic elements of fiscal policy coordination and harmonization.
Washington, DC – Regional fiscal officials, leading academic specialists and private-sector representatives from 18 countries convened this week in Cape Town, South Africa, for the eighth Africa Tax Dialogue to discuss the balance between domestic revenue mobilization and enhancing the investment climate. The meeting, hosted by the International Tax and Investment Center, in cooperation with The Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, featured discussions on corporate taxation; mining, oil and gas, and carbon taxation; assessment of the Davis Tax Reform Committee reports; developments in VAT; and e-commerce taxation. Continue reading “18 Countries Discuss Tax Coordination in Africa Tax Dialogue”
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.
ITIC has strengthened its presence in Africa by launching an affiliate office in Lagos, Nigeria with Mr. Reggie Mezu, a long-time ITIC Senior Advisor, who will serve as ITIC’s Africa representative and lead ITIC’s growing programs in the region.
ITIC President Daniel Witt said, “Sub-Saharan Africa represents one of the fastest growing regional economies in the world. The tax, regulatory and governance challenges are among the biggest obstacles to unleashing further growth and development.”
Reggie Mezu added, “Having an ITIC presence in Africa will provide a strong platform to build new partnerships with public-sector stakeholders and industry groups to further advance ITIC’s missions and programs throughout Africa.”