Angola Plans to Merge Tax Collection, Customs Agencies

Angola, Africa’s biggest oil producer after Nigeria, plans to merge agencies for tax collection and customs by 2017 to help reduce its dependence on petroleum, according to an analyst at the London School of Economics.

Tariffs on oil will account for about 80 percent of tax revenue this year, Emily Anderson, a researcher at LSE, said in a presentation today in Luanda, the capital. The government is integrating its agencies to help boost tax earnings from non-oil industries to 20 percent of gross domestic product within four years from 7.5 percent in 2011, she said.

“The Angolan government has relied on revenues from the easy-to-tax oil industry,” said Anderson, who is writing a book on post-civil war tax reforms in Mozambique and Angola. “The tax base here remains very narrow and increasing receipts from other sectors will be critical for maintaining stability.”

Angola is rebuilding its $114 billion economy after a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. It pumped 1.87 million barrels of crude a day in May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The government has separate tax regimes for the petroleum industry, negotiated with companies including Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc. In mining, corporate taxes were cut in November to 25 percent from 35 percent.

Gilberto Luther, associate director of the government’s tax reform project, confirmed the merger of the revenue agencies.

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