Showing 1 - 12 of 148 publications
September 2022

Unpacking ‘Tax Morale’: Distinguishing Between Conditional and Unconditional Views of Tax Compliance

by Wilson Prichard

There is mounting evidence that strengthening tax morale can have important benefits in encouraging quasi-voluntary tax compliance, building political support for reform, and supporting tax bargaining between citizens and governments. However, the literature has been plagued by an often vague, and overly aggregated, understanding of the concept of tax morale. This has consequences for our…

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September 2022

Mobile Money Taxation and Informal Workers: Evidence from Ghana’s E-Levy

by Nana Akua Anyidoho, Max Gallien, Mike Rogan & Vanessa van den Boogaard

In recent years, governments in lower-income countries have increasingly introduced specific taxes on mobile money transfers as a means to raise revenue. These are often explicitly promoted as a way of taxing informal economic activity, but critics have noted their potential negative impact on lower-income groups. Ghana’s electronic transfer levy (E-levy), introduced in May 2022,…

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August 2022

Visual Nudges: How Deterrence and Equity Shape Tax Compliance Attitudes and Behaviour in Rwanda

by Fabrizio Santoro & Giulia Mascagni

The empirical evidence on the drivers of compliance is expanding quickly, but there is less evidence from low-income countries. Mass-media communication channels are a cheap option that budget-constrained revenue administrations can use to communicate with taxpayers. However, very little is known about the effectiveness of such tools in improving compliance. This paper starts to address…

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June 2022

Small Nets for Big Fish? Tax Enforcement on the Richest – Evidence from Uganda

by Fabrizio Santoro & Ronald Waiswa

Appropriately taxing the richest is a priority for every government, even more so in Africa, where higher revenue mobilisation is needed to fund growth. In Uganda, the revenue authority launched a specific unit to monitor the tax affairs of the richest individuals. Thanks to a close collaboration with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), we evaluate…

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June 2022

Enablers, Barriers and Impacts of Digital Financial Services: Insights from an Evidence Gap Map and Implications for Taxation

by Philip Mader, Maren Duvendack, Adrienne Lees, Aurelie Larquemin & Keir Macdonald

Digital financial services (DFS) have expanded rapidly over the last decade, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. They have been accompanied by claims that they can alleviate poverty, empower women, help businesses grow, and improve macroeconomic outcomes and government effectiveness. As they have become more widespread, some controversy has arisen as governments have identified DFS revenues and…

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The Likely Fiscal and Public Health Effects of an Excise Tax on Sugar sweetened Beverages in Kenya

by Corné van Walbeek & Senzo Mthembu

Historically, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have typically been associated with tobacco and alcohol use. However, in recent decades increased levels of overweightness and obesity, mostly caused by poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, have increased diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. There is a general agreement that sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) are bad for one’s health….

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Mandating Digital Tax Tools as a Response to Covid: Evidence from Eswatini

by Fabrizio Santoro, Razan Amine & Tanele Magongo

Many tax authorities changed the mode of interacting with taxpayers from physical to online as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to diminish the spread of the virus. Eswatini, the country under study, mandated the use of online tax filing through the e-Tax system for all income tax payers, coupled with a zero-cash-handling policy for…

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March 2022

Tax and Governance in the Context of Scarce Revenues: Inefficient Tax Collection and its Implications in Rural West Africa

by Vanessa van den Boogaard & Rachel Beach

In recent years, domestic and international policy attention has often focused on broadening the tax base in order to include a greater share of the population in the ‘tax net’. This is based, in part, on the hope that the expansion of taxation will result in positive ‘governance dividends’ for taxpayers. However, the implications of…

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February 2022

Taliban Taxation in Afghanistan: (2006-2021)

by Rahmatullah Amiri & Ashley Jackson

Before taking control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban had developed a remarkably state-like revenue collection system throughout the country. This ICTD research explores how that came to be, and what factors shaped the various forms of Taliban taxation. Drawing primarily on fieldwork from Helmand, Ghazni and Kunduz provinces, this paper explores in depth…

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February 2022

Digital financial services and digital IDs: What potential do they have for better taxation in Africa?

by Fabrizio Santoro, Laura Munoz, Wilson Prichard & Giulia Mascagni

New digital technologies are now being widely used in Africa and lower-income countries (LICs). This has had an impact on tax administration, which has been increasingly digitised. Specifically Digital Financial Services (DFS) and digital IDs can improve tax administration. They have the potential to identify taxpayers more easily, communicate with them better, enforce and monitor…

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February 2022

Should Governments Tax Digital Financial Services? A Research Agenda to Understand Sector-Specific Taxes on DFS

by Laura Munoz, Giulia Mascagni, Wilson Prichard & Fabrizio Santoro

Digital financial services (DFS) have rapidly expanded across Africa and other low-income countries. At the same time, low-income countries face strong pressures to increase domestic resource mobilisation, and major challenges in taxing the digital economy. A growing number are therefore advancing or considering new taxes on DFS. These have generated much debate and there are…

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February 2022

The Promise and Limitations of Information Technology for Tax Mobilisation

by Oyebola Okunogbe & Fabrizio Santoro

Tax revenue in many low-income countries is inadequate for funding investments in public goods and human capital. While tax systems have been adopting new technologies to improve tax collection for many years, limitations to in-person interactions due to COVID-19 have further highlighted the role of information technology in tax mobilisation. This paper examines the potential…

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