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4th ICTD Annual Centre Meeting

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The 4th ICTD Annual Meeting held in Arusha, 7-9 December 2014 and kindly hosted in partnership with the Tanzania Revenue Authority, was very well attended and engaged a mixture of professionals, notably researchers and African tax administrators and tax specialists, in constructive dialogue about contemporary tax challenges in Africa.

There were two themes to the 2014 ICTD Annual Meeting:

1. Tax Capacity Building

Given the increasing number of capacity building activities related to taxation in Africa, and an increasing number of donors coming into the field, we asked: How effective are current approaches and methods? What could best be done differently? The aim was to identify a range of actors involved in capacity building, especially those on the ‘receiving’ end of donor programmes, and encourage them to speak frankly about successes, failures and challenges. Through interactive discussion and debate, rather than formal presentations or written papers, we covered a range of specific capacity building arenas:

  • How best to build sustainable capacity to deal more effectively with transnational investors operating in specialised areas such as mining, finance and telecoms?
  • What are the capacity building implications of current global tax reforms?
  • What are the distinctive problems and solutions in building capacity to improve sub-national taxation?
  • What scope is there for independent African initiatives to complement the on-going BEPS (base erosion and profit-shifting) process being led by the OECD?
  • What kinds of IT systems and policies best support sustainable capacity development?
  • What are the needs and experiences in building research capacity within revenue agencies and taxation research capacity in African universities and research institutions?

2. Tax Compliance Research

Since the amount of research on the factors contributing to tax compliance in Africa is likely to increase considerably in the near future, we chose to showcase some of the best pieces of recent and current research – mainly through formal presentations and written papers – and used them to stimulate a broader debate about new research.

The meeting was opened by the Commissioner General of the Tanzania Revenue Authority, Mr. Rished Bade, and the Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Tax and Development, Professor Mick Moore.

Among the seventy delegates, from sixteen different countries, were representatives from from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS), the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZRA), the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), and the Uganda Revenue Authority, as well as representatives from development organisations such as the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad); as well as tax experts from the OECD, the HMRC, the African Tax Institute, the WCO, GIZ.

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Sunday 7 December 2014

  1. Capacity Building for African Revenue Authorities: What Works?
    (no powerpoint used)
    Rhiannon McCluskey (ICTD)
  2. Taxing the Extractive Sector 
    Mr Frian Aarsnes, Director ECON Oil and Gas
  3. The ICTD Research Uptake Programme
    Zilper Audi (ICTD)

 Monday 8 December 2014

  1. Electronic Sales Registry Machines and Tax Compliance in Ethiopia 
    Merima Ali (Chr Michelsen Institute)
  2. Reforming Property Tax Collection in Dar-Es-Salaam
    Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (ICTD and Chr Michelsen Institute)
  3. Informal Taxation in Sierra Leone
    Vanessa van den Boogaard (ICTD and University of Toronto)
  4. Protection money, tax compliance and colonial legacy in Africa 
    Abdulaziz Shifa (Syracuse University)
  5. Surveying Public Expectations and Willingess to Pay Tax in Tanzania
    Ingrid Hoem Sjursen (Norwegian School of Economics and CMI), Donald Mmari (REPOA) and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (ICTD and Chr Michelsen Institute)
  6. International Corporate Taxation: Between a Rock and a Hard Place  
    Sol Picciotto (ICTD and University of Lancaster)
  7. Tax Treaties: A Curse or a Blessing – Researching Tax Treaties in Developing Countries
    Tomas Balco (Ministry of Finance, Slovakia & ICTD)
  8. Tax Treaties in Uganda
    Martin Hearson (London School of Economics

 Tuesday 9 December 2014

  1. The New ICTD Government Revenue Dataset – and Some New Research Findings on the Effects of Aid on Domestic Tax Effort
    Wilson Prichard (ICTD and University of Toronto)
  2. The Research Programme of the World Customs Organisation
    Rachel McGauran (World Customs Organisation)
  3. Business Taxpayers Perceptions in Addis Ababba: Preliminary Findings
    Wollela Yesegat (Addis Ababa University)
  4. Tax Harmonization in the East African Community
    Led by Alexis Nzitonda (GIZ) and Milly Nalukwago (Uganda Revenue Authority)
  5. The Journey of Tax Statistics in South Africa 
    Randall Carolisen (SARS)
  6. Should we be Looking at Alternatives to Taxing Corporate Profits? 
    Michael Durst (ICTD and Bloomberg)
  7. Informal Sector in Morocco, the Fiscal Gap: Lessons from a Macro and Micro Economic Approach
    Fouzi Mourji (Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences, Hassan II University, Casablanca)

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Participants List

Programme

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