The first general assembly of the African Tax Administration Forum in Mauritius

10 years, 5 months ago - July 26, 2011
The ATAF is a platform for African tax administrations to address common tax policy issues and capacity building initiatives

The first general assembly of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) is being held at the InterContinental Hotel, Balaclava. On Monday, the opening ceremony of the three-day meeting was inaugurated by Vasant Bunwaree, acting minister of Finance and Economic Development.

Hosted by the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA), the ATAF is a platform for African tax administrations to address common tax policy issues and capacity building initiatives. The forum is being organised under the theme, ‘International and domestic aspects of tax fraud, evasion and avoidance’.

Around 100 delegates from 24 African countries are attending the event to discuss issues such as illicit financial flows, tax evasion and tax avoidance.

“Combating tax evasion and avoidance is an ongoing fight and cooperation between tax administrations, authorities and key international players will give a boost to this quest,” said Bunwaree.

He added that due to increased cross border investments and transactions, there has been a rise in exchange of information to levy accurate tax assessments and ensure best practices.

“Mauritius is revisiting its legislative and institutional framework to reinforce financial supervision and strengthen the regime to fight terrorist financing, money laundering and other financial crimes,” said Bunwaree.

“I believe that innovation and implementation of best practices in African revenue administrations will lead to an improvement of good governance, transparency and accountability among tax administrators,” he added.

ATAF chairperson Oupa Magashula also stressed that there has to be a coordination of minds and resources to counter wrong practices in tax-related issues.

“With the increase in economic activity, it is important to ensure that profits are fairly and efficiently taxed for governments to implement their programmes,” highlighted Magashula.

Sudhamo Lal, MRA director general, stated that the MRA strongly promotes ethics and integrity within its tax administration. “There is an ongoing dialogue with other tax administrations for the sharing of experiences and development of best practices,” he stressed.

Lal pointed out that Mauritius has already entered into avoidance of double taxation treaties with several African countries and is trying to ink a mutual assistance customs agreement with these countries.

Text by the Independent

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