Rwanda envisions itself as the next Luxembourg or the next Singapore; a new financial center that will turn East Africa into an international power player and will service financial transactions throughout the African continent and beyond. While other financial centers are often accused of being tax havens, Rwanda is determined to avoid that label. It says the new hub, the Kigali International Financial Center (KIFC), will not allow business activity designed to avoid taxation. Details are forthcoming but Rwanda Finance Limited, the government entity that is developing the project, says all investments at KIFC must have a substantive business and economic purpose.
Double Taxation Agreements
Under the Model Conventions, each African country has lost taxation rights over cross-border workers who have been evacuated from it but who are still deriving income from it through telework. Telework, a term originally coined by Jack Nilles, is ‘the activity of working from home while communicating with your office by phone or email, or using the internet’. The COVID-19 pandemic has made social distancing an imperative and, consequently, we are witnessing an unprecedented reliance on telework.
Based the observation from Ghana and Kenya, there is the need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investment tax incentives to ensure transparency, accountability, reduce associated costs, and check abuse.