Showing 12-23 of 373 publications

The VAT in Practice: Equity, Enforcement and Complexity

by Giulia Mascagni, Roel Dom & Fabrizio Santoro

There are substantial differences in the spread of the pandemic and the policy response to it between high and low-income countries (LICs). In terms of case numbers, the pandemic has affected high and middle income countries (HICs and MICs) much more severely than LICs: deaths per million people have remained typically well below 1 in…

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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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Tax Treaties of G-24 Countries: Analysis Using a New Dataset

by Martin Hearson

Between them, the G-24 countries have over 800 bilateral tax treaties in force. Each treaty limits states’ ability to tax income earned within their borders by investors and service providers from the treaty partner. As well as constraining states’ ‘taxing rights’, they are also vulnerable to abuse through ‘treaty shopping’. A new dataset of developing…

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“An Unacceptable Surrender of Fiscal Sovereignty:” The Neoliberal Turn to International Tax Arbitration

by Martin Hearson & Todd Tucker

This article examines the growth of inequality over the past half century, which is closely connected to the rise of neoliberal policies and institutions and the latter of which shield capital from state actions that might limit wealth accumulation. Economic nationalism since the global financial crisis has slowed or even reversed this, yet this same…

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How Clean Are Our Taxpayer Returns? Data Management in Uganda Revenue Authority

by Jova Mayega, Ronald Waiswa, Jane Nabuyondo & Milly Nalukwago Isingoma

The paper assesses the cleanliness of taxpayer returns at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in terms of: (a) completeness – the extent to which taxpayers submit all the required information as specified in the return forms; (b) accuracy – the extent to which the submitted information is correct; (c) consistency – the extent to which…

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May 2021

Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics

by Martin Hearson

In Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics, ICTD Research Fellow Martin Hearson shifts the focus of political rhetoric regarding international tax rules from tax havens and the Global North to the damaging impact of this regime on the Global South. Even when not exploited by tax dodgers, international tax standards place severe limits…

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April 2021

Taxing the Informal Economy is not a Silver Bullet for Financing Development – or the Covid-19 Recovery

by Max Gallien, Vanessa van den Boogaard & Mick Moore

This briefing explores the Covid-19 pandemic, which has raised twin challenges for public revenue around the world. Governments have undertaken huge expenses to finance medical responses and social protection programmes. At the same time, tax collection is decreasing as a consequence of both pandemic-related tax breaks and a dip in economic activity and trade. These…

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March 2021

Trade Tax Evasion and the Tax Rate: Evidence from Transaction-level Trade Data

by Andualem T Mengistu, Kiflu G Molla & Giulia Mascagni

This paper explores the relationship between tax rates and tax evasion in a low-income country context: Ethiopia. By using transaction-level administrative trade data, the authors are able to provide an analysis that is largely comparable with the rest of the literature while also introducing two important innovations. First, they compare the elasticity of evasion to…

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Are Women More Tax Compliant than Men? How Would We Know?

by Jalia Kangave, Ronald Waiswa & Nathan Sebaggala

Most research on tax compliance, including research on gender differences in compliance, is based on one of two problematic sources of data. One is surveys enquiring about attitudes and beliefs about taxpaying, or actual taxpaying behaviour. The other is experiments in which people who may or may not have experience of paying different types of…

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Using administrative data to assess the impact of the pandemic in low-income countries: An application with VAT data in Rwanda

by Giulia Mascagni & Adrienne Lees

This paper uses administrative data from Value Added Tax (VAT) returns to provide insights on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rwanda. We show that the lockdown in Rwanda had a severe impact on the domestic economy, despite relatively low case numbers. However, the economy quickly rebounded after restrictions were lifted, with overall sales…

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