This year the ATAF membership will meet under the theme "Tax Compliance and Limiting Illicit Financial Flows". The conference will bring together Heads and Senior Officials of African Tax Administrations and Ministries of Finance, representatives of international and continental organisations, development partners, the private sector as well as academics.
Increasing tax compliance, particularly voluntary compliance, is an essential component among the building blocks of modern tax administrations. As identified in the ATAF Report on Good Tax Governance of 2011, developing a culture of compliance requires that tax administrations view and treat taxpayers first as 'clients' rather than tax evaders and avoiders. Well-defined and well-executed educational campaigns by tax administrations, through the media and other new technologies, can greatly help in ensuring that taxpayers understand and accept the compliance requirements.
Perhaps the most important objective of these measures taken is that the cost of dodging taxes and the risk of getting caught must be perceived by taxpayers as high, and penalties must be applied when evasion is detected. Also of importance would be to examine whether and how service, administrative efficiency, ease of transaction and quality of government spend impact on taxpayer compliance. The first part of the conference will thus explore the array of these aforementioned aspects.
In the second part of the conference, the focus will shift to illicit financial flows (IFFs). Where non-compliance of taxpayers occurs, the question raised is how this can be attributed to IFFs. Thus unpacking the various structures associated with IFFs becomes essential. According to the Africa Economic Outlook of 2015, 65% of all IFFs occur through international commercial transactions that include tax evasion, trade mis-invoicing and abusive transfer pricing, and involve mainly multinational corporations.
Please download the IFF Main report here:
Meeting agendas, additional logistical information and registration guidelines will be made available shortly. For planning purposes, we would appreciate receiving your favourable response to this invitation and your conference registration by no later than 20 September 2015.
I am certain that you will find these meetings to be a valuable opportunity to engage with African and international colleagues on tax administration matters. The Commissioner General of the OTR, the ATAF Chairman and the Secretariat look forward to welcoming you to Lomé.