Showing 1-12 of 30 publications

Active Ghosts: Nil-filing in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Fabrizio Santoro, Denis Mukama & Naphtal Hakizimana prepared by Adrienne Lees

Poor compliance is one of the key factors behind persistently low tax-to-GDP ratios in developing countries. Two dimensions of non-compliance that have been widely studied are under-reporting and non-filing (i.e. failing to submit a tax declaration altogether). However, there is a third and largely under-researched dimension of non-compliance: nil-filing. It refers to taxpayers who are…

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Active Ghosts: Nil-filing in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Fabrizio Santoro, Denis Mukama, John Karangwa & Napthal Hakizimana

Nil-filing refers to taxpayers who report zero on all fields of their tax declaration. It is a largely ignored phenomenon in the tax literature, despite being well known to tax administrators. There is almost no evidence on the characteristics of nil-filers and the reasons for their apparently puzzling behaviour. This paper sheds light on this…

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September 2019

Tax Evasion and Missing Imports: Evidence From Transaction-Level Data

Andualem T. Mengistu, Kiflu G. Molla & Giulia Mascagni

It is well documented in the literature that developing countries raise less tax revenue as a share of their economy than their developed counterparts. Part of this gap can be explained by the relatively higher tax evasion in the former. Recent literature shows that increasing the availability of information reduces evasion, by increasing the probability…

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An Analysis of Discrepancies in Taxpayers’ VAT Declarations in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Denis Mukama & Fabrizio Santoro

In recent years, one of the most important developments in African tax administration has been the widespread adoption of value added tax (VAT). A key feature of VAT is its self-enforcement mechanism, which incentivises buyers to request a receipt and claim refunds on VAT paid. This should in principle go against the seller’s incentive to…

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March 2019

An Analysis of Discrepancies in Taxpayers’ VAT Declarations in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Denis Mukama & Fabrizio Santoro

This report provides a descriptive analysis of discrepancies resulting from matching different value added tax (VAT) data sources in the Rwanda Revenue Authority database. VAT returns are declared by businesses of all sizes and types, from companies to individual traders. Internal discrepancy is the gap between different data sources, namely VAT declaration and VAT annexes,…

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Teach to Comply? Evidence from a Taxpayer Education Programme in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Fabrizio Santoro & Denis Mukama

African revenue authorities developed a growing interest in tax education as a key driver of compliance and in the context of a modern approach to tax administration (Mascagni and Santoro, 2018). Indeed, poor tax knowledge has a number of potentially serious implications. Firstly, it is likely to affect compliance. On the one hand, uninformed taxpayers…

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February 2019

Teach to Comply? Evidence from a Taxpayer Education Programme in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Fabrizio Santoro & Denis Mukama

The role of taxpayer education in improving tax compliance has been largely unexplored in the literature. This paper starts to fill this gap by providing the first rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of taxpayer education on knowledge, perceptions, and compliance, which took place in Rwanda. Our analysis is based on a unique dataset that combines…

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Are There Any Reliable Data on Wages in Low-Income Countries? Observations and Lessons from Ethiopia

Andualem Mengistu & Giulia Mascagni

Administrative data from tax returns have recently become available in many African countries thanks to the modernisation of revenue authorities and the digitisation of tax records. The availability of these data has opened new opportunities for policy-relevant analysis of real-life taxpaying behaviour. However, despite the increased availability of these data, a gap remains in many…

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Why is Tax Education Important for Compliance?

Giulia Mascagni & Fabrizio Santoro

This ICTD Research in Brief is a two-page summary of ICTD African Tax Administration Paper 1 by Giulia Mascagni and Fabrizio Santoro. This series is aimed at policy makers, tax administrators, fellow researchers and anyone else who is big on interest and short on time. Knowledge about tax can contribute to shaping attitudes towards compliance….

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Can ICTs Increase Tax? Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia

Giulia Mascagni , Andualem Mengistu & Firew Woldeyes

This ICTD Research in Brief is a two-page summary of ICTD Working Paper 82 by Giulia Mascagni, Andualem Mengistu, and Firew 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…

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July 2018

Can ICTs Increase Tax? Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia

Giulia Mascagni, Andualem T. Mengistu & Firew B. Woldeyes

The widespread introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digitalised data management systems is one of the most important developments among African tax administrations in recent years. However, very little evidence is available on their effectiveness in practice, and how taxpayers respond to these changes. This paper starts filling this gap by reporting three…

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