At a meeting held in Cape Town on October 26 – 27 South African Revenues Service (SARS) official Kosie Louw was elected chairperson of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
Louw becomes the first African chairperson of the Forum and will hold the post for two years from the beginning of 2013 until its current mandate expires in 2015. In a statement congratulating Louw on his appointment, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said: “I am certain that the two years of South Africa’s chairmanship will be beneficial not only to the forum but also to the wider global tax administration community”.
“The position of forum chair is especially important because the forum’s current mandate expires in 2015, and it is during SA’s tenure that a decision must be made on the best way to take the work of the forum forward,” Gordhan continued. “SA’s tenure also coincides with very challenging times for tax administrations globally, especially when it comes to the exchange of information for tax purposes.”
Gordhan added that the forum “plays a key role in promoting tax cooperation and the exchange of information among revenue authorities, and it feeds into the work of the OECD and the G20 on improving transparency on tax matters. The forum is the largest consensus-based organization working to facilitate the exchange of tax information between jurisdictions, an important step towards an end to secrecy.”
“With a current membership of 116, the forum is in a position to have a significant impact on how jurisdictions cooperate,” Gordhan concluded.
South Africa takes over the chairmanship from Australia.