Showing 1-12 of 36 publications
January 2020

The Customer is King: Evidence on VAT Compliance in Tanzania

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Cecilia Kagoma, Ephraim Mdee, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen & Vincent Somville

Value Added Tax (VAT) has emerged as one of the main modes of raising tax revenue worldwide, but has significantly underperformed as a revenue source in African countries. To improve compliance, Tanzania has introduced Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs), which automatically transmit information about business transactions to the tax administration. However, VAT collection has not improved…

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April 2019

Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Boqian Jiang & Abdulaziz B Shifa

African colonial history suggests that British colonial rule may have undermined state centralisation due to legacies of ethnic segregation and stronger executive constraints. Using micro-data from anglophone and francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we find that anglophone citizens are less likely to identify themselves in national terms (relative to ethnic terms). To address endogeneity concerns,…

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January 2019

Policy Implementation Under Stress: Central-Local Government Relations in Property Tax Administration in Tanzania

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Merima Ali & Lucas Katera

Purpose Inter-organisational cooperation in revenue collection has received limited attention in the tax administration literature. Recent experiences from Tanzania offer a unique opportunity to examine opportunities and challenges facing such cooperation between central and local government agencies in a developing country context. The administration of property taxes (PT) in Tanzania has been oscillating between decentralised…

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October 2018

The Customer is King: Evidence on VAT Compliance in Tanzania

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Cecilia Kagoma, Ephraim Mdee, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen & Vincent Somville

Like governments in many other African countries, the Government of Tanzania has been striving to improve the effectiveness of its value added tax (VAT) regime by reducing tax evasion through a combination of measures, including improved tax legislation and more effective administrative processes. A key initiative was the introduction of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) in…

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Property owners’ knowledge and attitudes towards property taxation in Tanzania

Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Lucas Katera

Property taxation (PT) is high on the political agenda in Tanzania and considered a cornerstone of the Government’s efforts to strengthen broad based direct taxation. Because it is visible to taxpayers, and in principle linked to improved local services, PT holds a unique potential to act as a foundation for bargaining between taxpayers and governments…

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Taxing Africa: Coercion, Reform and Development

Mick Moore, Wilson Prichard & Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Taxing Africa is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the crucial debates around taxation and development in Africa. Taxation has been seen as the domain of charisma-free accountants, lawyers and number crunchers – an unlikely place to encounter big societal questions about democracy, equity or good governance. Yet it is exactly these issues that pervade…

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Building tax systems in fragile states. Challenges, achievements and policy recommendations

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Morten Bøås, Julie Brun Bjørkheim & Frida Margrethe Kvamme

The purpose of this study is to systematise and analyse existing knowledge on taxation in fragile states. Efforts to support domestic revenue mobilisation in conflict situations require a different approach and other means than in the more stable developing countries. On that basis, the study discusses possible entry points for Norwegian support to domestic revenue…

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February 2018

Policy implementation under stress: Central-local government relations in property tax collection in Tanzania

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Merima Ali & Lucas Katera

Inter-organisational cooperation in revenue collection has received limited attention in the tax administration literature. Recent experiences from Tanzania offer a unique opportunity to examine opportunities and challenges facing such cooperation between central and local government agencies in a developing country context. The administration of property taxes (PT) in Tanzania has been oscillating between decentralised and…

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Lifting the Veil of Secrecy – Perspectives on International Taxation and Capital Flight from Africa

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Sigrid Klæboe Jacobsen, Peter Henriksen Ringstad & Honest Prosper Ngowi

This book is produced as a part of the research project Taxation, Institutions and Participation (TIP). TIP investigates the effects of tax havens on domestic revenue systems, institutions and on citizen participation in African countries. The project aims to generate new, contextualised evidence on the political economy of domestic revenue mobilisation, institutional development and state…

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Taxing the urban boom in Tanzania: Central versus local government property tax collection

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Merima Ali & Lucas Katera

Effective collection of property taxes requires constructive working relations between the central government revenue authority and the municipalities, independent of the mode of administration. Clear division of function and responsibility between the local and the central government is critical for effective policy implementation. The implementation of property taxes in Tanzania has seen major changes in…

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Property Taxation in Developing Countries

Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Lucas Katera

Property tax (PT) raises on average revenues of less than 1 per cent of GDP in developing countries. In many African countries it contributes far less than 0.5 per cent. Following such low contribution, there is a growing eagerness among policy makers to increase its share in GDP. This policy brief provides a theoretical rationale behind such enthusiasm…

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Taxing the urban boom: property taxation in Africa

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Merima Ali & Tom Goodfellow

The growth of Africa’s towns and cities has outpaced local governments’ capacity for service delivery in terms of management, infrastructure, and financing. As a result, many African towns and cities are now faced with a governance crisis. The restructuring of governmental functions and finances has entered the core of the development debate. Policy makers are…

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