Tax administrators called to embrace technology

By Staff reporter | 31 Jul 2019 at 18:59hrs
Victoria Falls Mayor councillor Somvelo Dlamini, Zimra Commissioner General Faith Mazani, ATAF chairman Mr Tunde Fowler and TAF executive secretary Mr Logan Wort addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the ATAF conference
THE high-level Africa tax policy dialogue opened in Victoria Falls on Wednesday amid calls for tax administrators to embrace modern technology to be able to generate revenue.

The conference is being attended by tax administrators and experts as well as partners from Africa and beyond. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is hosting the event on behalf of Zimbabwe as Africa pushes for a common position on adoption of policies that allows tax administrators to embrace e-commerce.

The three-day conference also marks the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) 10 years of building efficient and effective tax administration in the continent. Participants said low level of digitalization is one of the challenges facing tax administration in Africa.

Zimra Commissioner, Ms Faith Mazani, said African economies were lagging behind in terms of digital technology.

"As developing countries we feel intimidated by not having technology but we don't have a choice and we can't sit back because the world of revenue administration has changed. It requires that we transform and change the mindset of a tax officer," said Commissioner Mazani.

She implored African countries to embrace digital technology positively so as to move with current trends and ensure Government business is done online.

"As African revenue administrators we have not grasped the way to administer digital economy. We have not moved with the same pace to be able to collect revenue online yet digitalization offers more opportunities to us than we could realise," she said.

Commissioner Mazani said Zimra was also using media and other digital platforms to educate the generality of citizens about tax issues.

A tax expert from Tax Justice Network Africa, Mr Alvin Mosioma, said the modern market was being created on the digital platform as he challenged tax administrators to capacitate themselves to be able to identify data online. He said this will help Africa come up with a common position to be tabled to the world tax forum.

Ms Varsha Singh from the Organization Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) said her organization and ATAF had joined forces to capacitate member countries to be able to embrace technology.

Over 70 representatives of tax administrations, ministries of finance, private sector firms and tax researchers are attending the conference, which is a third in a series that started in Uganda in 2017 to find solutions to Africa's challenges from the digitalisation of economies.



WhatsApp Newsletter

Follow us

Latest Headlines