…Holds tax summit
By Peter Egwuatu
Ernst & Young, EY has explained the need for Nigeria and other African countries to reshape its tax agenda in view of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
To this development, EY Africa has concluded all necessary arrangements towards hosting one of the biggest Tax Summit in the Continent. This year’s edition, which promises to be very interactive will be hosted through virtual and is scheduled between August 27-28, 2020.
The Summit with its theme ‘Reshaping the Africa Tax Agenda’, will focus on the intersections of tax, trade and COVID-19 in Africa and how tax policy can adapt through and beyond the health pandemic.It is a conversation on the questions that tax functions should be asking about economic and trade outlook on the continent.
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It is hoped that the Summit will inspire those in charge of African tax functions to use the tax revenue and policy considerations emerging from COVID-19 and AfCFTA to position them better to support their organisation’s trade within and beyond the continent. The two-day interactive event will feature speakers from business, government, multilateral organisations and EY subject-matter professionals from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, United States, Europe and beyond. On-demand technical breakout sessions on key tax policy updates from countries across the continent will also be available.
According to EY, before COVID-19, African governments were focused on changing the tax narrative in reaction to dwindling tax receipts and preparation for the emerging changes to existing international tax order. In addition, trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was to commence on 1 July 2020, ushering in a new age of economic cooperation through a common market of more than 1.2 billion consumers. AfCFTA implementation is now suspended until 2021.
“As African governments continue to grapple with the health and negative economic impacts of COVID-19, and businesses try to contain, manage, and rebuild their finances, operations, and supply chains, there lies opportunities for tax administrations and the tax profession to collaborate and address needed reforms to tax policies, the role of digitization and technology in enhancing the interaction between tax administrators and taxpayers, and prepare Africa to take advantage of the inevitable shift in trade routes”, EY stated.
It further added that this year’s Tax Summit agenda will focuses on three major planks. These are COVID response, BEPS program and AfCFTA.