Home Business Africa loses $242bn to tax exemption yearly — Oxfam

Africa loses $242bn to tax exemption yearly — Oxfam

by Business News Report

The Executive Director, Oxfam International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Ms Winnie Byanyima says Africa loses $242 billion to corporate income tax exemption and unpaid taxes by companies annually. Byanyima disclosed this at the Africa Rising Conference in Maputo.

She said about $138 billion were lost to corporate income tax exemption while $104 billion was lost to unpaid taxes by companies operating in the continent yearly.

“This is double what Africa needs to meet the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) needs on Health and Education put together. It will equally solve the $93 billion requirement to close infrastructure gap,” the official said.

According to her, a balance of $30 billion will still remain out of the money to be used for other development issues. Byanyima attributed the loss of the revenue to absence of legal framework in financial system in Africa, and called for a change of policy. She said some of the gaps which allowed tax exemption in doing business in Africa should be removed and made illegal.

“This will help Africa to get adequate revenue through effective tax system,’’ the NGO official said. She said additional tax officials would be needed in the region in order to have effective tax collection, and efforts must be geared towards capacity building.

Byanyima called for companies which are willing to do the right things to invest in the growth and development of the region.

Mr Bob Collymore, Chief Executive Officer of Safricom, also urged government to put the right policies in place to tackle the corporate income tax exemption. He urged corperate organisations to be ready to pay tax, adding that it was the right thing to do and it helps in economic development. The conference was organised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Mozambican government with over 300 participants in attendance. The theme of the conference is “Building to the future’’.

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