Publications

Showing 1-11 of 407 publications
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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…

April 2022

The Economic Impact of the Pandemic in Rwanda: An Analysis of Firm-Level VAT Data

by Giulia Mascagni & Adrienne Lees

There are substantial differences in the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and policy responses to it between high- and low-income countries. While evidence on the former is growing, there remain more unanswered questions on the latter. This paper addresses this gap by providing insights on the impact of the pandemic in Rwanda, based on firm-level…

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April 2022

Active Ghosts: Nil-filing in Rwanda

by Giulia Mascagni, Fabrizio Santoro, Denis Mukama, John Karangwa & Napthal Hakizimana

Nil-filing refers to taxpayers who report zero on all fields of their tax declaration. It is a largely ignored phenomenon in the tax literature, despite being well known to tax administrators. There is almost no evidence on the characteristics of nil-filers and the reasons for their apparently puzzling behaviour. This paper sheds light on this…

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March 2022

Co-financing community-driven development through informal taxation: Evidence from south-central Somalia

by Vanessa van den Boogaard & Fabrizio Santoro

Community contributions are often required as part of community-driven development programs, with contributions encouraged through matching grants. However, little remains known about the impact of matching grants or the implications of requiring community contributions—also known as informal taxation. We explore this research gap through a randomized control trial of a matching grant program in Gedo…

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March 2022

Digital Payments Taxation Factsheet: Uganda

by Adrienne Lees & Daniela Villacreces Villaces

Digital financial services are growing in Uganda and play an important role in supporting the financial inclusion of the poor. Recently, the Ugandan government has increased the level of taxation on traditional and digitally-delivered financial services, with some taxes applying specifically to digital payments. Download our factsheet to learn more.

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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

Innovations in Tax Compliance: Building Trust, Navigating Politics, and Tailoring Reform

by Roel Dom, Anna Custers, Stephen Davenport & Wilson Prichard

Recent decades have seen important progress in strengthening country tax systems. Yet many areas of reform have remained stubbornly resistant to major improvements. Overall, revenue collection still falls short of that needed for effective governance and service delivery. Tax collection is too often riddled with high rates of evasion among large corporations and the rich…

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February 2022

What’s the catch? Fiscal Policies for Fisheries in five African Countries

by Giovanni Occhiali

The taxation of fisheries: rationale and overarching debates. Many low-income countries (LICs) have long struggled to increase their domestic revenue mobilisation, which is often seen as a necessary step to achieve a more sustained economic development. A wider fiscal space can lead to more funds being available for social spending and infrastructure investment, both of…

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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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