afrol News, 25 February - Government officials in Cote d'Ivoire are eager to modernise the country's tax system in an attempt to curb fraud and boost the economy, according to reports by PANA. Within the existing system, too many loopholes exist and state revenues are low and unpredictable.
The government reportedly intends to increase tax on royalties for specific items, as well as increase taxes on bank charges. VAT exemption for low standard building equipment and a two year tax relief on computer equipment is also in the pipeline.
Côte d'Ivoire officials have responded with these tax reviews following protests by local businessman claiming that the current fiscal regime was inhibiting economic activity. The government has also written off taxes owed prior to 1992 to the value of 300,000 million CFA (€ 460 million).
The proposed tax restructuring are being taken within the framework outlined by various donor countries and institutions such as the IMF and World Bank. The Ivorian government has cooperated closely with IMF staff to increase its tax and customs revenues.
The government already began strengthening tax and customs administration last year. To this end, the government appointed new directors for the financial administrations.
The specific measures included in these action plans were the strengthening of control procedures; the reduction of exemptions; the extension of the minimum 5 percent customs duty to all imports; and on-the-job staff training. In addition, in accordance with the 2001 budget, a unified 20 percent value-added tax (VAT) rate was introduced on 2 July 2001.
Sources: Based on Word Bank, press reports and afrol archives