Showing 1 - 12 of 133 publications
November 2021

Glimpses of Fiscal States in sub-Saharan Africa

by Mick Moore

There is a widespread perception that taxing in sub-Saharan Africa has been and remains fraught with problems or government failure. This is not generally true. For more than a century, colonial administrations and independent states have steadily developed the capacity to routinely collect more substantial revenues than one might expect in a low-income region. The…

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October 2021

The Tax Side of the Pandemic: Compliance Shifts and Funding for Recovery in Rwanda

by Giulia Mascagni & Fabrizio Santoro

While much knowledge is being generated on the impact of the pandemic, we still know very little on its implications on taxation in low-income countries. Yet, tax is crucial to fund crisis response and recovery, in addition to broader development plans and expanded government expenditure. This paper starts addressing this gap using a unique dataset…

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October 2021

To file or not to file? Another dimension of tax compliance – the Eswatini Taxpayers’ survey

by Fabrizio Santoro

Non-filing, the failure to submit a tax declaration, is a widespread phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa and produces detrimental fiscal effects, from impaired revenue mobilisation to inequality. Non-filing has been largely unexplored in the public finance literature, which focusses mostly on active filers. This paper sheds light on the determinants of non-filing, building on neoclassical and behavioural theories,…

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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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Perception of Taxpayers and Tax Administrators towards Value Added With holding Tax in Zimbabwe

by Simbarashe Hamudi

Value added tax (VAT) is a key tax for generating revenue in Zimbabwe and all African states, and for financing the budget in African countries. However, the revenue authorities are not collecting large amounts of VAT for various reasons, including ineffective administration and tax evasion. The value added withholding tax (VAWHT) system brings the merits…

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Can ICTs increase tax compliance? Evidence on taxpayer responses to technological innovation in Ethiopia

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

The widespread introduction of ICTs and digitised data management systems is one of the most important developments amongst African tax administrations in recent years. However, very little evidence is available on their effectiveness to increase compliance and on how taxpayers respond to these changes. This paper starts filling this gap by reporting three sets of…

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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 scholarly and policy agendas in recent decades. And, yet, agriculture continues to be taxed very lightly in much of the Global South – even though it contributes substantially to GDP. In some cases, light taxation of agriculture may be an intentional policy goal. Evidence from…

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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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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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