Can ICTs Increase Tax? Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia

Authors: Giulia Mascagni , Andualem T. Mengistu & Firew B. Woldeyes
Publisher: ICTD
Date: August 2018

Abstract:

ICTD Research in Brief 22

This ICTD Research in Brief is a two-page summary of ICTD Working Paper 82 by Giulia Mascagni, Andualem T. Mengistu, and Firew B. Woldeyes. This series is aimed at policy makers, tax administrators, fellow researchers and anyone else who is big on interest and short on time. African tax administrations have experienced rapid modernisation in the past two decades. The digitalisation of tax records and widespread adoption of ICTs have been key features of this process. However, there is still very little evidence on the effectiveness of ICTs and digitised data on tax collection and the functioning of tax administration more broadly. In principle, ICTs can have a great impact in making the tax administration more efficient. This brief summarises the findings from the working paper that asks the empirical question of whether and to which extent these benefits can materialise in practice, in presence of severe capacity constraints within the tax administration.