Technical assistance (TA) lies at the heart of ATAF’s mandate to create more effective African tax systems. ATAF’s technical assistance is geared towards providing;

  • tailored support that meets the specific needs and policy objectives of each Member country,
  • finding homegrown solutions through peer-to-peer learning and
  • growing long-term sustainable African tax expertise by using African experts delivering African solutions for African challenges.

ATAF’s unique TA role rests on a broad capacity-building portfolio combining ‘downstream’ and ‘upstream’ work. ‘Downstream’ work, or in-country TA, delivered through bilateral TA programmes engages directly with members to build capacity and put in place technical and legal structures for the effective operation of member tax systems.

Technical assistance work, however, also has an important ‘upstream’ character. This refers to how the experiences learned in ‘downstream’ country work inform the development of ATAF tools, products and standards. These experiences provide clear insights into challenges on the ground, and the issues which members need to deal with. When further country requests are responded to, previously encountered issues and solutions help members work with ATAF to engineer their own solutions, develop guidance and standard setting mechanisms and ultimately feed these into other African and international fora.

ATAF’s delivery of technical assistance is based on the demand from member tax administrations and is accessible to all members. Requests for technical assistance can be made online process via the ATAF website.

The technical assistance is a collaborative partnership between the ATAF experts and the African tax administration to build a more effective tax system and administration in the country to enhance domestic resource mobilisation and increase revenue collection.

The revenue impact of ATAF technical assistance programmes.

The assistance has helped ATAF members assess over $3 billion additional tax and collect over $1.2 billion additional tax from transfer pricing audits over the past six years.

Highlights and impact of ATAF’s technical assistance programme
• Demand for TA growing rapidly; 11 ATAF Members requested TA and in 2021 this increased by over 50% to 18 ATAF members.
• 87 technical assistance missions delivered in 17 countries in 2021, addressing various tax administration, tax policy and tax audit issues.
• TA has helped 18 countries establish transfer pricing units.
• Exchange of Information support was provided to 7 countries and assistance in establishing EOI units in 5 countries
• VAT technical assistance programmes were established in 2021 in 3 countries: Angola, Ghana and Eswatini.

The Technical Assistance brochure provides information on the types of TA.
The brochure can be accessed here

The technical assistance work of ATAF is directly aligned to the strategic objectives as set out in the 2016–2020 Strategic Plan to:

  • Increase domestic resource mobilisation;
  • Target the development of African expertise;
  • Establish member country needs and ensure ATAF meets these; and
  • Support Africa’s effective voice in the international tax environment.

Under the strategic plan, ATAF will respond flexibly and quickly to member country technical assistance requests, whether related to domestic or international tax issues, to improve DRM and shape products that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of member country tax systems.

The credibility and effectiveness of ATAF’s support for its members rest on its ‘thought leadership’ – its ability to shape the thinking of Ministers, senior officials, business and civil society on tax administration and policy issues among its member countries. It also relies on the unique role that ATAF plays in helping members build sustainable and efficient tax systems.

ATAF’s unique TA role rests on a broad capacity-building portfolio combining ‘downstream’ and ‘upstream’ work. ‘Downstream’ work, or in-country TA, delivered through bilateral TA programmes engages directly with members to build capacity and put in place technical and legal structures for the effective operation of member tax systems.

Technical assistance work, however, also has an important ‘upstream’ character. This refers to how the experiences learned in ‘downstream’ country work inform the development of ATAF tools, products and standards. These experiences provide clear insights into challenges on the ground, and the issues which members need to deal with. When further country requests are responded to, previously encountered issues and solutions help members work with ATAF to engineer their own solutions, develop guidance and standard setting mechanisms and ultimately feed these into other African and international fora.

ATAF’s delivery of technical assistance is based on the demand from member tax administrations and is accessible to all members. Requests for technical assistance can be made online process via the ATAF website.

WHY DOES ATAF PROVIDE TA?

TA work provides concrete benefits to the recipient country with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of revenue collection by member countries and strengthening the tax administrations capacity.

    TA is the core of the ATAF mission as it:

  • builds institutional and human capacity among member countries;
  • allows ATAF to understand and develop solutions to the key issues facing tax administrations on the continent;
  • increases ATAF’s effective political impact;
  • supports the development of an EFFECTIVE African voice in the global tax debate; and
  • creates internal institutional coherence linking ATAF’s research and TA work in the interests of its members.

WHICH COUNTRIES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR TA?

All ATAF members ‘in good standing’ are eligible for TA. In addition, supply-driven TA with other countries may be considered if the TA Panel considers that TA delivery will benefit the membership commensurate with available resources.

WHAT IS THE INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK FOR ALL TA BASED ON?

  • A country-focused model, which potentially includes international (transfer pricing/exchange of information) and/or domestic issues (VAT/Compliance), policy and administrative solutions, and multiple forms of delivery, involving ATAF, the recipient country and other delivery partners.
  • A delivery and assessment partnership based on a formal agreement between ATAF and the recipient country with joint ownership and responsibility for scoping programmes, implementation, milestones, assessment, programme completion dates, evaluation of outcomes and impact analysis.
  • A cross-divisional approach within ATAF, linking the work of the TA and Research Divisions to ensure that the TA work is based on a coherent ATAF approach to the country concerned, utilising all institutional knowledge and providing opportunities to develop areas of research which will benefit members.
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