Project Researchers: Fabrizio Santoro, ICTD, Razan Amine, ICTD & Tanele Magongo

This paper spurs from the interest of the Eswatini Revenue Authority (partners in the study) and evaluates the impact of the mandate of electronic filing for income taxes, as implemented in Eswatini in September 2020 in response to the COVID emergency. By relying on a rich set of taxpayer-level administrative data from the revenue authority, we measure the effects on filing behaviour. In conjunction, we also explore how a subsequent mandate to use digital payments only to settle tax payments (April 2021) interacts with the e-filing mandate. We complement the quantitative impact evaluation with in-depth interviews to tax officials to uncover some underlying patterns, mostly referring to: 1) the partial take-up of the mandate, 2) how the new data from both platforms is used by the revenue authority.