Cameroon hosts tax compliance conference

The delegates from 141 countries attending the 10th Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Yaoundé, Cameroon on November 15, 2017. NDI EUGENE NDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The 10th plenary meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes entered its second day in the Cameroon capital Yaoundé on Thursday.

The delegates from around the world are seeking ways of bolstering international cooperation in the fight against tax evasion and illicit cash flows.

The Yaoundé meeting comes at a time flows of revenue out of Africa were robbing its nations of billions of dollars, imposing a negative impact on the continent’s development and governance agenda.

Audit procedures

The Thabo Mbeki High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows estimates that Africa loses between $50 to $60 billion to illicit financial flows yearly.

The ongoing plenary seeks to encourage tax compliance through joint audit procedures as well as promote the fight against international tax evasion and fraud by multinational companies, which transfer profits to jurisdictions with zero or low taxation

Mr Patrick Mukiibi of the Uganda Revenue Authority said sometimes multinational companies hid their income.

Among other things, the participants in Yaoundé, were discussing developments in the exchange of information on request, as well as automatic sharing of data. The Global Forum has set new standards for information exchange.

A peer review

The chair of the Global Forum, Ms Maria-José Garde, called for more commitment to the fight against illicit flows from among Africa’s political class.

Cameroon’s Finance minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said President Paul Biya’s government was fully committed to all efforts to end tax evasion and avoidance.

The Yaoundé get-together, that has pulled over 250 delegates from 141 countries, ends on Friday.

The 147-member Global Forum was set up in 2009 to combat tax evasion and tax avoidance by promoting cooperation between authorities across the world, according to Ms Monica Bhatia, the organisation’s chief of secretariat.

Cameroon joined the Paris-based organisation in 2012 and after undergoing a peer review with respect to the implementation of set standards, the country received a “Largely Complaint” rating in 2016.

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