The 7th International Annual Tax Conference organised by the West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI) was held from the 25th to 26th of February 2021, in Lagos, Nigeria, on the theme, “Designing and Implementing Tax Measures for Covid-19 Era and Beyond”. The conference saw Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea share his valuable knowledge as lead speaker on the topic “Effective Tax Measures for the Covid-19 Era and Post-Pandemic New Normal”. Dr. Ali-Nakyea who is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law and Senior Partner of Ali-Nakyea & Associates, Accra, Ghana, elaborated on the challenges faced by businesses due to the adverse impact of the pandemic in the finance sector. Some of the challenges he mentioned include loss of income, dwindling revenues for direct contact businesses, disruption in funding and credit cycles, hence, emphasising the need for entities to optimise their tax obligation to ensure survival.
In his presentation, he particularised that adopting measures such as the extension of due dates for filing of tax returns for taxpayers, the re-profiling of taxpayers, timely refunds to tax payers, as well as waiver of taxes on withdrawals from pension funds would immensely aid businesses and individuals most especially in this pandemic period. Proceeding to the heart of the topic, Dr. Ali-Nakyea benevolently provided knowledge on how to identify opportunities for optimising tax obligations. According to him, managing tax risks should be a priority, thus one key rule about taxation is the fact that one can only enforce what is written, and so in taxation, what is not written does not exist.
He educated his audience on how and why one should avoid unnecessary penalties, self-audit, claim allowable deductions and recruit fresh graduates. One of his wisdom nuggets was the need to ensure that companies must ensure that all expenses are properly captured and receipted as that goes a long way to be of benefit in this Covid-19 era. Employing tax laws in his proposed measures for taxpayers in the post-pandemic era, Dr. Ali-Nakyea highlighted the need to keep proper books of account and the possession of basic understanding of the tax laws.
In his conclusion, the tax law expert stated that tax measures post Covid-19 should be targeted at recovery of our economies. He referred participants to the statement attributed, supposedly, to Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–83), the Finance Minister to King Louis XIV, that “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing. He reiterated that the digitalisation of revenue institutions is key to compliance and monitoring.
At the end of his delivery, Dr Ali-Nakyea was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI) for his brilliant presentation as lead speaker at the conference as well as a letter of appreciation expressing the body’s profound gratitude for his contribution to the success of the conference.
The West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI) is the premier body for registered tax institutes across West Africa. It was established by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Ghana (CITG) with the objective of developing and enhancing Tax Practice and Administration in West Africa. It currently has as Full Members Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Chartered Institute of Taxation Ghana (CITG), Ordre des Conseils Fiscaux du Mali (OCFM), Association des Experts Fiscaux du Sénégal (ASEF- Sénégal), Association Professionnelle des Experts et Conseils Fiscaux – Burkina Faso (APECF-Burkina Faso), Association Professionnelle des Experts et Conseils Fiscaux – Niger (APECF-Niger). It has as Temporary Members Association des Professionnels de la Fiscalité du Togo – Togo (APF), Liberia Institute of Tax Practitioners (LITP) and Association Professionnelle des Experts et Conseils Fiscaux – Benin (APECF-Benin). WAUTI Partners & Cooperation include Global Tax Advisers Platform (GTAP), CFE Tax Advisers Europe, Asia-Oceania Tax Consultants Association (AOTCA), West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF).