ATAF meets in Gauteng on extractive industries taxation
13 April 2016
Posted by: Author: The South Africa
Author: The South Africa
Tax experts from Africa and around the world will convene in Johannesburg from Monday to Wednesday to discuss the taxation of extractive industries.
The conference – at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg – would take place under the title "Assessing the value of Extractives: How can we assess the outflow from Africa?” African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) research manager Eugénio Brás said in a statement.
"This meeting aims at providing an overview of the challenges facing African tax systems in cross-border exports in the extractive industry, including transfer pricing and aggressive tax structures and natural resource contracts,” he said.
Senior tax and customs officials directly involved in the valuation and taxation of extractives, representatives of international organisations, the private sector, NGOs, business leaders, civil society organisations, and research institutes were convened by the ATAF do discuss the valuation of exports, regulation and monitoring of operations, collection of taxes and royalties, revenue management, and allocations.
According to the Africa Progress Report 2013, the large potential for raising public revenues from extractives would give governments "opportunities to put in place the investments needed to make a breakthrough in human development and to create a social and economic infrastructure capable of supporting inclusive growth”, Brás said.
"The accurate measurement of both the quality and volume of minerals is most obviously important when assessing export duties. Identifying and then stopping potential revenue leakages is important to maintain confidence in the tax system and encourage voluntary compliance.”
On the ground, governance procedures needed to be clear, consistent, and difficult to bypass. No tax administration was starting from scratch in taxing extractive industries and each would have some industrial or geographical specifics to contend with.
The first consideration was to identify what areas their personnel were already well-versed in and which ones needed further development, whether that was on a general or individual level.
"The meeting intends to look at experiences of Zambia (copper), Ghana (gold), Nigeria (oil), and Mozambique (gas) in the extractive sector. The outcome of the meeting should provide ATAF with sufficient information to define a practical programme of work sponsored by the African Development Bank, to be undertaken for the next two to three years.
"This meeting will contribute significantly to creating the necessary awareness of this important area of taxation on the African continent, and the challenges that African countries face in determining the value of the extractive exports,” Brás said.
This article first appeared thesouthafrica.co.za.