Showing 1 - 12 of 123 publications

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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December 2020

At the Table, Off the Menu? Assessing the Participation of Lower-Income Countries in Global Tax Negotiations

by Rasmus Corlin Christensen, Martin Hearson & Tovony Randriamanalina

Since 2013, the formal structure of global corporate tax policymaking at the OECD has changed. Decisions are no longer made by 37 OECD members, but by 137 countries from all regions and levels of development through the ‘Inclusive Framework’ (IF). Official documentation emphasises that all countries participate on an ‘equal footing’, but some participants and…

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November 2020

Strengthening Tax-Accountability Links: Fiscal Transparency and Taxpayer Engagement in Ghana and Sierra Leone

by Vanessa van den Boogaard, Wilson Prichard, Rachel Beach & Fariya Mohiuddin

There is increasingly strong evidence that taxation can contribute to expanded government responsiveness and accountability. However, such positive connections are not guaranteed. Rather, they are shaped by the political and economic context and specific policies adopted by governments and civil society actors. Without an environment that enables tax bargaining, there is a risk that taxation…

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October 2020

Gender and Tax Compliance: Firm Level Evidence from Ethiopia

by Seid Yimam & Fissha Asmare

Developing countries often lack tax information and enforcement capacity necessary to effectively implement instruments of a modern tax system, such as VAT, income taxes and others. An alternative strategy to increase tax compliance, and thus revenue, in these countries may depend on the capacity of policymakers to harness individual’s civicmindedness, social norms, reciprocity and cultural…

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October 2020

How to Best Nudge Taxpayers? The Impact of a Tailored Letter Experiment in Eswatini

by Fabrizio Santoro, Edward Groening, Winnie Mdluli & Mbongeni Shongwe

Very little is known about why taxpayers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remit their taxes. In collaboration with the Eswatini Revenue Authority (SRA), this study implements a nationwide randomised controlled trial nudging more than 20,000 income tax payers with behaviourally-informed mailings. This study attempts to shed new light on the drivers of SSA taxpayers’ compliance, and…

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September 2020

What is Wrong with African Tax Administration?

by Mick Moore

National tax administrations in sub-Saharan Africa have undergone considerable reform in recent decades. In a number of respects, they are, on average, more reformed and more efficient than tax administrations in other low income regions of the world. They have responded effectively to a number of major challenges. However, we now have evidence from benchmarking…

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August 2020

To File or Not To File? Another Dimension of Non-Compliance: The Eswatini Taxpayer Survey

by Fabrizio Santoro, Edward Groening, Winnie Mdluli & Mbongeni Shongwe

Non-filing refers to taxpayers who fail to submit a tax declaration, thus becoming ghosts in the eyes of tax authorities. It is a widespread phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa, and has a number of detrimental fiscal effects. Non-filing has been largely unexplored in the literature, which focusses more on active filers. The overall aim of this…

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