Tax expenditures have a profound impact on countries’ ability to mobilise domestic revenue, fight climate change, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and, ultimately, attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If not monitored closely and assessed consistently, tax expenditures may jeopardise the transparency of national budgets and policies. As stipulated under Commitment 3 of the ATI Declaration 2025, members have committed to “improve tax transparency by publishing tax expenditures regularly to facilitate cost-benefit assessments, ultimately helping to reduce wasteful tax expenditures, improving taxpayers’ trust, and creating a more level playing field for all types of businesses. We will improve inter-agency cooperation on tax expenditures and foster the coordination of granting tax concession activities.”
To that effect, the ATI, in collaboration with the West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission), the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), the Council on Economic Policies (CEP) and German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklunspolitik (DIE), is organising a regional workshop on tax expenditures with a focus on West Africa. The event will take place on 27 and 28 July 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The workshop builds on the ATI Commitment 3 and the Global Tax Expenditures Database (GTED), which was launched by CEP and DIE in June 2021. With its worldwide coverage, the GTED helps to increase transparency on tax expenditures and sheds light on their critical role in tax systems around the globe. As shown by the GTED, the number of countries reporting on tax expenditures has been growing steadily over the years. However, the scope and quality of reports still vary significantly. Only few countries in the world have started to systematically evaluate the tax expenditures they use in order to find out whether or not the benefits obtained match the fiscal costs incurred.
The workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, is the first in a series of regional workshops organised by ATI, CEP and DIE. On this occasion, WATAF, ATAF and the ECOWAS Commission will be joining as local partners. The event provides a unique opportunity to ATI member countries and other interested governments to exchange with regional partners and international experts on the estimation, reporting and evaluation of tax expenditures.
Further details about the workshop will be available soon.