To plug gaps in tax policy and administration

African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) has launched a Rapid Response Unit, to complement the Forum’s support to member countries. The initiative will be offering immediate technical responses as part of broadening its services to member countries in the next decade.

“Rapid Response will directly unblock members' complex situations or needs by plugging gaps in policy and administration needs by tax administrations and directly and technically resolving operational obstacles,” said Vice Chairman ATAF Council, Edward Kieswetter.

According to the Council, the Rapid Response Unit’s key objective is to address technical assistance in real time. ATAF is an international organisation which provides a platform for cooperation among African tax authorities. Meanwhile, the Rapid Response Unit will work in collaboration with member countries, to address urgent tax policy design, and actual operational needs of tax administrations to either eliminate identified obstacles or attain quick results.

The key areas of the rapid response intervention include tax treaties’ drafting and negotiation, advanced price agreement (APA) negotiation, tax policy and administration reforms/design, data extraction and analysis and tax audit, including specific sector audit such as in mining sector, banking and insurance sectors, telecommunication sector and transfer pricing audit.

Kieswetter said the initiative highlights ATAF’s continuous quest to remain responsive to member needs, and to provide solutions to complex matters revenue admissions grapple with in the course of the Council’s mandate to assess, collect and account for tax revenue.

He further said the development is in line with ATAF mandate to serve the higher purpose of enabling and assisting African governments to mobilize own domestic resources through taxation that foster social development, economic growth, a conducive investment climate and that are in the interest and well-being of citizens. ATAF, with 40 member countries, aims to improve the capacity of African tax administrations, enhance the role of taxation in governance and state building, provide a voice for African tax administrations and administrators, and enhances pan-African collaboration and cooperation with development partners.