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Regulators and tax administrations reinforce their collaboration thanks to international telephone traffic control technologies

One of the telecommunications regulator’ main role is to ensure that the revenue generated by international incoming calls in a given country is equitably and systematically distributed to the different players of the sector, that is to say the operators, the government and the regulator itself.

This may prove difficult in the absence of a strict regulation – which is the case in many developing countries – that would allow regulators to obtain accurate declarations from operators regarding the volumes of traffic the latter carry into the country where they operate.

Another issue regulators have to cope with is fraud, insofar as the revenue generated through fraudulent lines cannot be taxed. As a result, all players in the sector lose out.

If this represents a challenge for telecommunications regulators, one can easily imagine the dismay of the Tax Administration when faced with the lack of visibility of the sector’s actual revenues. However, the same technologies currently available to regulators for the control of telephone traffic are likely to be of assistance to tax offices as well. Indeed, by providing regulators with the technical tools necessary for them to fulfill their regulatory mission, telecommunications companies like Global Voice group SA turn them into precious allies of the Tax Office.

It is the case in Congo-Brazzaville, where the Tax Directorate General is unable to quantify the national and international telephone traffic flows, due to the fact that they are not in possession of the relevant technology. In order to overcome the lack of visibility of the sector’s actual revenues, the Tax Directorate General decided to collaborate with the telecommunications regulator, the ARPCE, because the latter is “the sole technical body [and] has the required competence to quantify these flows”, as mentioned by Antoine Ngakosso, CEO of the Tax Directorate General. The latter added that this collaboration would enable tax officials to “determine the volume of traffic carried by mobile telephony operators and Internet access providers” and that it would “allow them to better evaluate each operator's actual turnover and to tax said operators according to the volume of traffic they carry.”

The ARCPE’s technical expertise in the control of telecommunications flow can mostly be explained through the fact that it signed a partnership agreement with Global Voice Group SA, thus obtaining access to the international incoming calls control and supervision tool IMS™. Therefore, by providing the ARPCE with the means to control the incoming telecommunications flow in the Republic of Congo, Global Voice Group enabled the ARPCE and the Congolese Tax Administration to reinforce their collaboration in terms of the taxation of the revenues generated by the international traffic.