African Tax Outlook

ATAF Flagship Publication - African Tax Outlook (ATO)

INTRODUCTION

The ATAF’s ATO was successfully launched on 26th June 2016 with 15 member countries - Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. In 2016, twenty-one (21) member countries participated in this second edition which is expected to be published and launched in August 2017: the 6 additional countries were Benin, Botswana, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia. Both editions of the ATO publication bring together valuable, practical and relevant descriptive and analytical information on tax issues from 2010 to 2016. The publication assesses and compares participating countries against indicators in four broad categories: tax bases, tax structure, revenue performance, and tax administration. These indicators are crucial to African tax authorities as they implement reforms and policies to broaden the tax base, narrow tax gaps, simplify and improve fairness in tax systems, enhance overall voluntary compliance, and keep policy makers informed on tax matters.

The 3rd edition will build and improve the structure and experiences of the first two ATO editions. In preparation to this 3rd ATO edition, 5 new countries joined: Angola, Chad, Ghana, Malawi, and Niger, bringing the total participating countries to 26.

BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT

The ATAF’s African Tax Outlook Publication arose from the necessity to make available reliable tax statistics and analyses pertaining to African tax administrations, with a view to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of member country taxation. It is a flagship African publication which provides valuable, practical and relevant descriptive and analytical work on tax issues to improve tax administrations and inform tax policy formulation and implementation in Africa.

For a successful preparation of each ATO edition, two key workshops are scheduled to take place prior to the year of publication:  Consultative Workshop combined with the Validation Worksop attended by the Heads of Research of tax administrations and the Capacity Building Workshop attended by the data collectors. 

OBJECTIVES OF ATO

The main purpose of the ATO is to establish an African flagship publication, aiming to be a source of reliable information on taxation that will serve as an African and global reference and an important barometer for businesses; in other words, creating a reference manual mainly for African tax administrations, tax policy makers, tax practitioners and businesses.

The African Tax Outlook publication is intended to

  • Be used for improved cross-country or regional comparisons and benchmarking
  • serve evidence based recommendations to reform tax policies and tax administrations.
  • provide an analysis of the data in terms of taxation trends around the continent, identification of good practices, and inferences on the heterogeneity of the tax data over time and across countries.
  • provide comparable data on tax policy, tax administration and tax legislation;

PREPARATION PHASES OF THE ATO PUBLICATION

The main steps in preparing, drafting and publishing the 3rd ATO edition are as follows:

Preparation Phase
Expression of Interest: Countries are invited to express their interest in taking part in the ATO project by sending an official letter to the ATAF secretariat.

Consultative Workshop:
This is a workshop specifically aimed to bring together the Heads of Research/Strategic Planning/Revenue Statistics of tax administration.


Data Collection Phase

  • Capacity Building Workshop: This is a workshop specifically aimed at Data collectors of tax administrations.
  • Roll-out and Data Collection Process
  • During the data collection process, the ATAF research will liaise with the tax administrations (focal points) to manage the data collection process

Data Analysis Phase
The preliminary ATO storyline, descriptive statistics, trends and critical analysis to be developed.

Validation Workshop
This is a workshop specifically aimed at the Heads of Research/Strategic Planning/Revenue Statistics of tax administrations.

Finalization of Story Line: following the validation workshop, the ATO team will agree on the final storyline which will guide the drafting of the ATO publication.

Drafting of the Tax Outlook Publication

The ATO is a project led by African tax administrations. The tax administrations’ Heads of Research fully participated in determining the indicators and themes of the ATO, in developing the data collection tool and guidebook and were heavily involved in validating and analysing the data. The Heads of Research/Statistics/Planning identified critical demand-driven indicators that they deemed necessary to assist in providing strategic direction essential to drive revenue in Africa. The ATO project aimed at embedding the systematic collection of tax statistics in the day-to-day activity of their respective administration work.

ATAF is aware of the needs of its members and will continue to encourage tax authorities to build systems and processes able to provide the quality data needed to improve the functioning of tax administration in Africa. It will continue to assist African countries in building strong, effective and efficient tax systems by providing technical assistance, encouraging excellence through good practice and identifying areas for practicable research. ATAF plans to develop measures and targets that would be routinely monitored which is in line with the African Union 2063.

The African Tax Outlook Publication, printed in English, French and Portuguese, was launched during a major ATAF event and it is available to the public. 

For general queries, information, please contact us via:

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Tel.: +27 12 451 8834 

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