Showing 1 - 12 of 129 publications

Can Tax Agents Support Tax Compliance in Low-Income Countries? A Review of the Literature and some Preliminary Evidence from Uganda

by Giovanni Occhiali & Fredrick Kalyango

Over the last 40 years there has been an increased focus on the role that tax agents play in ensuring or deterring compliance with tax obligations. While the literature on their role is not extensive, a variety of different topics have been explored. Some consistent evidence has emerged indicating when agents improve (or decrease) compliance,…

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October 2021

Rethinking Formalisation: A Conceptual Critique and Research Agenda

by Max Gallien & Vanessa van den Boogaard

The concept of ‘formalisation’ has been ubiquitous in development discourse and policymaking in the early twenty-first century. It has underpinned policy interventions and proposals from tax registration to property titling, and a range of measures intended to connect informal entities with state institutions or formally structured markets. Despite the policy enthusiasm, however, the outcomes of…

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September 2021

Co-Financing Community-Driven Development Through Informal Taxation: Experimental Evidence from South-Central Somalia

by Vanessa van den Boogaard & Fabrizio Santoro

Community contributions are often required as part of community-driven development (CDD) programmes, with payment encouraged through matching grants. However, little remains known about the impact of matching grants, or the implications of requiring community contributions in order for communities to receive development funding. This paper describes research where we partner with two non-governmental organisations (NGOs)…

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July 2021

The Contested Shaping of International Tax Rules: The Growth of Services and the Revival of Fractional Apportionment

by Sol Picciotto

The digitalisation of the economy has spotlighted fundamental flaws in international tax rules, which have been exacerbated since the 1970s with the wider shift to the services economy and the growth of international services. These systemic flaws have been more evident from the perspective of countries that are mainly importers of services that have tried…

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July 2021

There and Back Again: The Making of Uganda’s Mobile Money Tax

by Doris Akol & Adrienne Lees

This paper evaluates the appropriateness of the tax policymaking process that led to the introduction, and the later adaptation, of a tax on mobile money transactions in Uganda in 2018. We examine the unusual source of the proposal, how this particular tax diverged from the usual tax policymaking process, and whether certain key stakeholders were…

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June 2021

The Role of Social Influence in Enforcing Tax Compliance: Experimental Evidence from Nigeria

by Adedeji Adeniran, Mma Amara Ekeruche & Chukwuka Onywkwena

Economic development is linked with increased state capacity including the ability to mobilise domestic tax resources. For many developing countries, high levels of informality are a major constraint in this regard. Yet, economic incentives like changing the tax rate or increasing the filling and audit rate can be ineffective in a highly informal economic structure….

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Taxing Agricultural Income in the Global South: Revisiting Uganda’s National Debate

by Graeme Stewart-Wilson & Ronald Waiswa

The issue of agricultural taxation has almost completely disappeared from the scholarly and policy agendas in recent decades. And yet, agriculture is taxed very lightly despite contributing substantially to GDP across many Global South countries today. In some cases, light-touch taxation may be necessary to encourage investment in the sector and to protect small and…

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Taxation and Customs Reforms in Fragile States: Between Bargaining and Enforcement

by Thomas Cantens & Gael Raballand

This paper explores why taxation reforms are so different in fragile states, the conditions in which they occur, and what can be done to make these reforms more successful – including contributing, whenever possible, to state-building. Based on extensive engagement and fieldwork in the Sahel and other regions in sub-Saharan Africa (including Central and West…

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March 2021

Profit Shifting of Multinational Corporations Worldwide

by Javier Garcia-Bernardo & Petr Janský

Multinational corporations (MNCs) avoid taxes by shifting their profits from countries where real activity takes place towards tax havens, depriving governments worldwide of billions of tax revenue. Earlier research investigating the scale and distribution of profit shifting has faced methodological and data challenges, both of which we address. First, we propose a logarithmic function to…

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March 2021

Explaining Informal Taxation and Revenue Generation: Evidence from south-central Somalia

by Vanessa van den Boogaard & Fabrizio Santoro

Most people in low-income countries contribute substantially to the financing of local public goods through informal revenue generation (IRG). However, very little is known about how IRG works in practice. We produce novel evidence on the magnitude and regressivity of IRG and its relationship with the state in a fragile context, Somalia. We rely on…

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January 2021

The VAT in Practice: Equity, Enforcement and Complexity

by Giulia Mascagni, Roel Dom & Fabrizio Santoro

The value added tax (VAT) is supposed to be a tax on consumption that achieves greater economic efficiency than alternative indirect taxes. It is also meant to facilitate enforcement through the ‘self-enforcing mechanism’ – based on opposed incentives for buyers and sellers, and because of the paper trail it creates. Being a rather sophisticated tax,…

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January 2021

Tax Certainty? The Private Rulings Regime in Uganda in Comparative Perspective

by Samuel Kahima, Solomon Rukundo & Victor Phillip Makmot

Taxpayers sometimes engage in complex transactions with uncertain tax treatment, such as mergers, acquisitions, demergers and spin-offs. With the rise of global value chains and proliferation of multinational corporations, these transactions increasingly involve transnational financial arrangements and cross-border dealings, making tax treatment even more uncertain. If improperly structured, such transactions could have costly tax consequences….

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