The African Forum of Tax Administration (ATAF) officially launched its 2018 edition of African Tax Outlook, the largest collaborative tax statistics initiative in the continent.  The flagship publication serves as a reliable source of tax information and, therefore, "constitutes a solid point of reference worldwide and African for the formulation of tax policies and tax administration reforms in Africa", ATAF said in a statement. The 2018 publication African Tax Outlook (ATO) brings together valuable, practical and relevant descriptive and analytical work on tax issues for the period 2010-2016 from 26 African countries.
"This is the first attempt by African tax authorities to compare, consistently, the ways in which African tax authorities collect revenues.
" Evaluate and compare 26 countries against indicators in seven broad categories: total tax revenue , individual taxes, non-tax revenues, taxes and customs structures and functions of administration, service management, compliance management and human resources in the tax administration, "said ATAF.
He said the indicators were crucial for the African tax authorities as they implement reforms and policies to broaden the tax base, reduce tax gaps, simplify and improve equity in tax systems, improve overall voluntary compliance and keep policy makers informed about fiscal matters.
2018 edition of the ATO reveals, among other information: variac ions in the economic performance measured by the real gross domestic product, among the participating countries.
According to the report, Rwanda recorded 8.6 percent as the highest growth rate 2016 1.4 percent average for sub-Saharan Africa in 2016. Of the 26 ATO countries, 10 recorded or experienced negative real growth in the income.
Uganda, Seychelles and Lesotho, respectively, observed an increase of 2.37 and 2.26 and 2.4 percentage points in their 2015 tax to GDP ratio.
Meanwhile, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola experienced falls of 3.44 and 3.18 and 2.18 percentage points, respectively, in their GDP tax ratios.
ATAF has said that the value added tax (VAT) remains the cash cow in most countries with ATO, with an average ratio of total taxes to VAT of 31 percent that is higher than the average of the OECD of 20 percent.
The proportion of personal income tax (PIT) to GDP for ATO countries are still very low compared to those of the OECD countries, which ATAF attributed mainly to the low income levels for these countries, compared to the developed economies.
The regional tax authority stressed the need to modernize services to taxpayers by saying that the processing of tax returns and the taxpayer's payment information were some of the most time-consuming activities for tax administrations tributary
For the year 2016, it is said that 88 percent of the ATO countries modernized their tax collection processes. The use of electronic systems to replace traditional means of filing returns and payments is eliminating the errors associated with manual submissions.
ATAF is an organization, which was established by the African tax authorities in 2009, in order to improve the performance of tax administrations in Africa.