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Tax Transparency and Corruption (2019-2023)

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Tax Transparency and Corruption is a four-year program (2019-2023) by WU Global Tax Policy Center at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law (WU GTPC) in association with the World Bank, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)  and the African Tax Institute (ATI). It brings together academia, business and government to tackle corruption, bribery, money laundering, tax crimes and other forms of illicit activities in Africa. The project builds on the results of the Tax and Good Governance project (2015-2018) by WU GTPC

The first stage of the project (Tax and Good Governance 2015-2018) confirmed that corruption, in all its forms, was undermining the ability of African countries to achieve sustainable development through domestic resource mobilization. The 35 African countries that participated in the first stage confirmed that this was a priority issue for them alongside examining the different ways in which financial crimes interact and the need for a ‘whole of government’ approach. The second stage of the program (Tax Transparency and Corruption 2019-2023) addresses the interaction between tax transparency and corruption from the perspective of tax administrators, Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), policymakers, business, civil society and academics, and involves four closely related modules:

  1. Increasing the effectiveness of government actions to counter financial crimes through enhanced inter-agency cooperation.

  2. Establish a legal framework for cooperative compliance and the promotion of tax certainty through increased consultation with business.

  3. Remove the barriers to exchange of information within and between countries and improving transparency in tax planning by enhancing the implementation of beneficial ownership standards using new technologies and diagnosing the potential for misuse of client attorney privilege to identify acceptable and unacceptable uses.

  4. Investigate the potential for the use of unexplained wealth orders to support in the investigation of corruption, money laundering and tax crimes and recovery of assets.

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The Project aims to assist seven focus countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Uganda) to boost their budgets by raising own tax revenues, tackling illicit financial flows (IFFs) that deteriorate national budget resources and improving the business taxation environment. The team will also provide support to additional countries interested in participating throughout the duration of the project. It will establish a connection between the anti-money laundering (AML) community and the tax community through policy relevant and evidence based research and dialogue with countries regarding client-attorney privilege, beneficial ownership, cooperative compliance, unexplained wealth orders and inter-agency cooperation.

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