GRA hosts Africa tax treaties forum

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The Gambia Revenue Authority is playing host to a three-day workshop on tax treaties organised by OECD and ATAF. The forum, which seeks to enhance the capacity of expertise on tax treaties is currently being held at a hotel in Bijilo.

The African Tax Administration forum is the only African organisation devoted to improving the capacities of tax administrations on the continent.

Speaking at the forum, Lamin Camara, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, underscored the role The Gambia Revenue Authority play in the country’s economy.

Double taxation avoidance treaties, he went on, has become an important instrument in encouraging trade and investment across international borders.

“However, it has also created a whole new avenue for unscrupulous businesses who engage in aggressive tax planning. It is therefore, important for both tax policymakers and tax administrators to continue to develop capacity in tax agreements in order to close the loopholes in such agreements,” he said.

This, PS Camara added, would further encourage the use of such tax treaties by honest and genuine investors and businesses, thereby in the process facilitate international trade and investment.

PS Camara noted that the training would help member countries to improve their respective domestic resource mobilization efforts without negatively impacting on trade and investment.

Essa Jallow, deputy commissioner and head of Domestic Tax at The Gambia Revenue Authority, described the forum as very timely in guiding member countries to work in their efforts to expand treaty networks, exchange of information to strengthen their tax administration capacities and secure revenue basis.

Jallow acknowledged that the forum would make a direct contribution to the fight against harmful treaty shopping and aggressive tax planning around the treaties among member countries.

“Tax treaties if properly negotiated should deal with problems of double taxation, make our environments more attractive for inward investments and improve the business climate for all and sundry to benefit,” he added.

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh