Cross-Border Recovery of Tax Debts in Africa
29 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2018
Date Written: February 21, 2018
The cross-border nature of illicit financial flows calls for international cooperation. Given that tax affairs often feature as a component of illicit financial flows, the cooperation of tax administrations is instrumental to effective enforcement of law obligations. Mutual assistance is particularly important when taxpayers change their residence for tax purpose and the money trail vanishes. The paper focuses on mutual assistance in recovery of tax debts. The geographical scope of examination is limited to Africa. The paper looks into existing instruments aimed at facilitating the cooperation of African tax administrations.
The paper shows that the scope of mutual assistance among tax administrations in Africa is limited. Despite a growing interest in international cooperation, a lot needs to be done to build up a well-functioning network of tax administrations that would allow for effective recovery of tax debts. Countries either do not enter into existing instruments or place a reservation on mutual assistance in tax matters. In the light of this, the paper discusses some alternative measures that may be taken by tax administrations. The emerging role of technology in supporting these efforts is also taken into account.
The paper forms a part of research under the Tax and Good Governance project, a three-year (2015-2018) initiative of the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business in collaboration with the African Tax Institute (ATI) at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
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