7 results of ATAF’s African Tax Outlook publication

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  • 28 Feb 2022
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The 6th edition of ATAF’s flagship publication the African Tax Outlook, will focus on building resilience against global shocks with special reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRETORIA – The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) is getting ready to release the 6th edition of the African Tax Outlook (ATO). This edition will focus on building resilience against global shocks with special reference to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The ATO – an ATAF flagship African publication which provides useful and appropriate descriptive and analytical studies on tax issues to advance the work of tax administrations – emerged from from the need to avail reliable tax data from African tax administrations. 

The 6th edition has seen the number of its members grow from 15 countries to 35 countries namely: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The 2021 ATO publication is bringing together valuable, practical and relevant information of participating countries from 2010 to 2020, hence a period of 11 years. The publication assesses and compares participating countries against indicators in various categories: tax rates, tax bases, tax structure, revenue performance, tax administration, taxpayer service and compliance. 

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.

Here are seven outcomes of the publication:

  • The impact evaluation show that the ATO annual publication is considered a highly relevant publication for African tax administrations. The 2019 edition had 591 downloads while the recently published 2020 publication had 372 downloads already; these numbers show an indication of its useability mostly by tax administrations.
  • The ATO allowed some African tax administrations to establish effective revenue statistics units through access to the ATAF online data portal.
  • Revenue authorities have used the human resource data and analysis in the publications to advocate for improved staffing in their audit units.
  • Cross-country comparison of the performance of tax types such as VAT has helped shape the understanding of the tax gaps.
  • The ATO products have also assisted some ATAF member states in the preparation of annual reports, strategic reports, and other internal publications.
  • The ATO related paper named the compendium of good practices and success stories from tax administrations has been utilised lately more often than before. Out of 254 number of downloads, most users are from tax administrations (especially from Ethiopia, Eswatini and Zambia) and this shows how tax administrations are learning from other members in implementing several reforms and initiatives.
  • The ATO – through the secondee programme where secondees take part in drafting the publication – has exposed personnel in tax administration to international publication standards and improved their analysis skills/capacity in drafting.

How to access the ATO publication

Every year, ATAF produces the ATO publication as a main report accompanied by an executive summary report called the highlighted report. These two main products are available on the ATAF website: www.ataftax.org in 3 languages (English, French and Portuguese).

Since November 2017, the ATO publication introduced an ATO online data portal. ATAF has put in place a digital platform as part of its drive to simplify and ease year after year the data collection process but also gives them an opportunity to conduct their own analysis with the view to improving their efficiency and effectiveness. 

For media enquiries contact: communication@ataftax.org or call us on 0797902960

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