This project will explore the scope and size of energy-related tax expenditures in Africa. Tax expenditures (including rate reductions, exemptions and other forms of foregone revenue) can significantly reduce the overall revenue received by African governments. The literature on energy subsidies suggests that energy-related tax expenditures are often among the largest forms of revenue loss. This project will review the literature on tax expenditure and energy subsidies, and combine data from the IMF on the size and types of energy subsidies with information in the Government Revenue Dataset on the size of tax revenue to get a sense of the relative importance of energy related tax expenditures in different African countries. To the extent possible, it will estimate the potential revenue that might be captured by reform to energy subsidies and put forward a set of recommendations, both for policy and further research.


Neil McCulloch

Dr. Neil McCulloch is a development economist with expertise in political economy analysis and the design and implementation of politically smart aid programmes. He has led the Globalisation Research Team in the Institute of Development Studies in the UK and was a Senior Economist for the World Bank in Indonesia.

Roel Dom

Roel Dom is an Economist at the World Bank, focusing on tax and customs, and in particular on the role of trust and digitization. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked as a Research Fellow for the International Centre for Tax and Development and for the Overseas Development Institute, where he worked closely with revenue administrations in lower-income countries and fragile states.

Project Outputs

Policy Brief
What are ‘Tax Expenditures’ and How Big are Energy-Related Tax Expenditures?