OECD develops tax instruments to tackle tax avoidance in West Africa

The OECD has developed three tax instruments to strengthen the fight against base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in West Africa.

Firstly, a Directive on the harmonization of transfer pricing rules is intended to give the means to the tax administrations of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states to better control multinational enterprises present on their territory.

Next, a Directive on beneficial ownership will allow the identification of the beneficial owners of legal persons and arrangements, and ensure the availability of adequate, accurate, and up-to-date information on these beneficial owners.

Finally, a Supplementary Act on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters will offer multiple forms of co-operation between the tax administrations of ECOWAS Member States and strengthen exchange of tax information.

The instruments have been developed by the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) in collaboration with the ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) commissions.

These three community instruments, which are aligned with the most recent international tax standards, were adopted by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS at their respective meetings on July 6-7, 2023, and July 9, 2023, in Bissau.