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EAC debates bloc's tax harmonisation

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by BabuK, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. BabuK

    BabuK JF-Expert Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
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    The regional dialogue on harmonisation of domestic taxes in the East African Community held in Dar es Salaam recently has issued recommendations to address the challenges currently faced by the business community.
    The dialogue was organised by the East African Business Council (EABC) and the EAC Secretariat brought together participants from both the public and private sectors.
    A statement issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam by EABC said the dialogue recommended that the EAC work towards consolidating the gains of the Customs Union, in order to fully implement the Common Market Protocol.
    The other recommendation was tax harmonisation to be institutionalised under the fiscal affairs committee of the EAC. Among others, the committee should develop a policy framework for tax harmonisation that will serve as a reference point for tax reforms at national level and eventual convergence at the EAC level.
    On excise tax harmonisation, the dialogue recommended that the excise management bill be finalised with the necessary essential input from the key private sectors whose goods and services are subject to excise.
    Priority should be given to definitions, administrative procedures and processes, while a study on the impact of harmonisation of the excise duty structures should be conducted by the EAC Secretariat.
    On value added tax (VAT) harmonisation, the statement said there is need to build consensus in order to develop a legal framework on which a common procedures manual will be based.
    On Income tax procedures the dialogue recommended identification of areas that require harmonisation, especially with regard to capital, services and enterprise; in order to develop a harmonised, but flexible income tax procedure code.
    A need was recognised to review further the merits and demerits of tax incentives, with a view to guiding tax incentive harmonisation, the statement added.
    The statement noted that recognising tax harmonisation is underpinned by various articles of the treaty establishing the EAC (83); the Customs Union Protocol (75) and Common Market Protocol; (32, 76, 80 (1) and 85 acknowledging the various challenges faced by the business community.
    However the statement said EABC with support from its partners and in collaboration with EAC Secretariat will come up with a full report of the dialogue and a roadmap and with realistic timelines for addressing the challenges.
    These will be submitted to the participants for input and ownership and later be submitted to the relevant committees by the EAC Secretariat as input in the CommitteesÂ’ deliberations; and EABC, through its anchor national bodies, to the relevant organs in the Partner States.