Ghana To Host West African Tax Peers
5/1/2012 11:06:47 AM -
Ghana is expected to share her success stories in tax policies and implementation with her West African peers and the world at large when global stakeholders in the sector gather in Accra for the first ever West Africa Tax Forum (WATF).
The forum is scheduled for May 2-4, 2012 and is the first of its kind to be held in the West African sub-region.
It is jointly organised by the African Tax Institute (ATI) and the International Tax and Investment Centre (ITIC) with support from the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF). The Ghana Revenue Authority, under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), will be hosting it.
A Deputy Commissioner in charge of Policies and Programmes at the GRA and Chairman of the Planning Committee for the WATF, Nii Ayi Aryeetey, told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview that about 120 delegates from 14 African countries, Europe and the United States of America (USA) were expected to participate in the four-day event.
He said the delegates, drawn from academia, private and public sector and the business community, would be sharing experiences on how best they could coordinate indirect taxes between member countries in common markets such as the Economic Community for West
African States (ECOWAS), discuss issues of tax policies and their implementation and suggest ways of how best to deal with natural resource and corporate taxations.
“In West Africa, Ghana is the focal point of indirect taxes, especially when it comes to Value Added Tax (VAT), and these are some of the experience we, as a country, will be sharing with the participants at the forum,” he said.
Although discussions and conclusions at the forum will not be binding on the participants, Nii Aryeetey said, “they are expected to guide the countries on how to tackle issues on tax.”
“The forum should give us the opportunity to smoothen indirect tax implementation policies in the sub-region,” he said.
A Deputy Minister at the (MoFEP), Mr Seth Terkper, who is a Co-chairman at the event, also said in an interview that the country would be pushing for better coordination of indirect taxes in the sub-region at the May 2-4 forum.
He said member countries of ECOWAS and those in common markets “needed to improve on the way we coordinate policies on indirect taxes in the sub-region”.
“The policies on taxes will be useless if there are no proper mechanisms to synchronise them to yield the desired results,” Mr Terkper noted.
The implementation of indirect taxes and their collection in the region has long been thwarted by numerous challenges, most of which are traceable to lack of cooperation among the member countries.
While admitting that the common external tariff in the ECOWAS region– a uniform tariff regime – had not been effective in its implementation, Mr Terkper said the view was that participants at the forum would suggest ways of dealing with such issues .
“I hope that part of the discussion at the forum will focus on some of these challenges and how best we can sustain and smoothen their implementation,” the deputy Minister added.