Tax Cooperation on VAT in the SADC Region

This article seeks to outline the efforts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in tax cooperation and in particular cooperation and coordination of the VAT regimes in the Member States. In this article, the author describes how the SADC operates as a consensus-based organization and that in this regard regional cooperation is mandated through voluntary adherence to agreed frameworks, rather than any centrally issued or binding directives. Cooperation in VAT has been taken forward through the SADC VAT Guidelines (and supporting Commentary) that have been developed over a period of five years by tax officials in the Member States working under the direction of the SADC. As such, the Guidelines provide an agreed best-practice framework for cooperation and convergence of the VAT regimes in the Member States.