Taxpayer Advocate Service: thoughts for Africa tax administrations

Taxpayer advocate service in Africa is scarcely discussed by tax administrations. Countries like the United States of America operate a full fledged Taxpayer Advocate service office. Canada also has an elaborate taxpayer bill of rights.

The aim of taxpayer advocacy service is to provide assistance to taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations and to give a voice to the needs of taxpayers. For instance, a taxpayer might have come up with an innovation that does not quite fit into the tax laws. The taxpayer advocacy programme then considers such innovations to support the innovation.

Moreover, a taxpayer might be experiencing financial hardships that make it very difficult to comply with their tax obligations. The taxpayer advocacy programme comes in to assist such taxpayers. The assistance could take the form of tax restructuring to deal with the financial difficulties or accepting tax payment plans favourable to the taxpayer. These approaches would be very helpful for businesses to help with post COVID recovery. It would also help start ups that are on the rise in Africa. Hence, it is important for tax administrations around Africa to keep in mind this need for taxpayer advocate service.

Our discussion of the issue

We discussed the issue on taxpayer advocate service in Africa through our webinar hosted on our platform on 9 April 2021. The discussion covered the following:

  • The challenges of taxpayers’ advocacy? Can the taxpayer see it as an independent function from the revenue authority?
  • Taxpayer Bill of Rights; how can the rights of a taxpayer foster tax certainty and improve tax compliance?
  • Taxpayers’ advocacy and Domestic Resource Mobilization; what lessons can African Tax Administrations learn from the panelist’s experience.

Listen to the discussion on our YouTube Channel.

You can also find the podcast version on our podcast channel. Also find podcasts on various topics around Africa policies here.



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