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Malawi dodges tax check deal

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Malawi is yet to sign the African Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters (AMATM) which allows African countries to obtain information on residents that are hiding their assets in foreign countries.

By signing the agreement, Malawi would be able to track down wealth that is hidden offshore. Malawi would also be able to investigate easily foreign bank accounts belonging to top government officials.

AMATM will assist authorities to obtain ownership information from other countries and assist in detection of potential abuse of tax incentives targeted at foreign direct investment and transfer pricing audits.

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Speaking at the 2016 International Tax Justice Academy which was held in Kenya, Head of Tax Justice Moran Harari said the AMATM is beneficial as it allows different countries to exchange information.

“One country can collect tax on behalf of another country if it does not have the capacity to do that and it enables joint audits if there is a company that has subsidiaries in Malawi and in Uganda then they can do a joint audit and have the results far more quickly and can do tax investigations together,” she said.

She further said Malawi and other African countries could solve most of the problems that are being faced like illicit financial flows.

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However, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe, said Malawi is sending experts to Addis Ababa to discuss on the same.

“We are sending experts to a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week where they will discuss of that agreement. We will hear from them if we are to sign it but we were thinking of doing something else,” he said.

Apparently, Malawi has been facing high cases of Cashgate and tax dodging by multinational companies.

Former president, Bingu wa Mutharika, is believed to have accrued wealth amounting to K61 billion some of which is said to be kept in foreign countries.

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