As France’s ties with various West African countries worsen, Niger and Mali’s rulers announced that they were denouncing their double taxation agreements with the country, according to Africa News and agencies.
France’s tax authorities website indicates that they have been linked with Mali and Niger since 1972 and 1965 respectively by conventions “tending to avoid (“eliminate” for Niger) double taxation and to establish rules of reciprocal assistance” in tax matters.
In a joint statement, Mali and Niger’s juntas on December 5, who have claimed that their agreements with Paris will expire within three months, said the reason behind the denouncement was “France’s persistent hostile attitude against our states” as well as “the unbalanced nature of these agreements, which cause a considerable loss of revenue for Mali and Niger”.
The agreements cover personal and corporate income tax, inheritance tax, and registration duties.
Mali and Mali both gained their independence from France in 1960. The two allies have been heavily sanctioned by the African Union (AU) over forceful oustings of democratically elected Presidents. Mali has been under military rule since a coup in 2021 which saw the seizing of power from President Bah Ndaw. In July of this year, the Nigerien junta forcefully took power from Mohamed Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron stressed that he does not recognise the juntas as legitimate leaders.
In a controversial move back in September, France suspended the visas of students from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
The visa debacle was dubbed as Macron and his government acting in a vindictive manner given that the countries have recently turned their back on France and the west more generally, instead holding out an olive branch to sanction-hit Russia.