Publications

Showing 36-47 of 425 publications
December 2021

Tax Compliance in Rwanda: Evidence from a Message Field Experiment

by Giulia Mascagni & Christopher Nell

In early 2016 the Rwanda Revenue Authority sent messages to 9,000 taxpayers, aimed to encourage compliance. Each taxpayer was randomly allocated to a treatment group, or to a control group that received no message. Treatment messages varied in terms of content (deterrence, fiscal exchange, reminder) and delivery method (letter, email, SMS). Our RCT evaluates the…

Read more
December 2021

Tax Treaties and Enterprise Outcomes: Evidence Across Developing African Countries

by Uchenna Efobi & Oluwabunmi O. Adejumo

Studies have noted the possibility of tax treaties constraining the tax policy autonomy of developing countries, while their impact on enterprise development within host economies remains an empirical issue. This study examines the effects and heterogeneous differences in estimated effects of tax treaties on small businesses in developing countries that agree to these agreements. The…

Read more
December 2021

Informal Workers and the State: The Politics of Connection and Disconnection During a Global Pandemic

by Max Gallien & Vanessa van den Boogaard

In low- and middle-income countries, informal workers are particularly vulnerable to the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and often neglected by policy responses. At the same time, the crisis is rapidly changing the ways that states engage with informal workers. We argue that the relationships between informal workers and states – and…

Read more
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…

Read more
November 2021

Taxing Profits from International Maritime Shipping in Africa: Past, Present and Future of UN Model Article 8 (Alternative B)

by Bob Michel & Tatiana Falcão

International maritime shipping is an essential part of global business. Since the establishment of the current international tax regime in the 1920s, there has been a consensus that profits generated by this business are taxable only in the residence state – the state where the shipowners are located. Source states – the port states where…

Read more
November 2021

Tax Treaty Aggressiveness: Who is Undermining Taxing Rights in Africa?

by Lucas Millán-Narotzky, Javier García-Bernardo, Maïmouna Diakité & Markus Meinzer

Tax avoidance strategies by multinational companies rely heavily on tax treaties. Multinational companies can relocate financial activities across countries to ensure the applicability of the most beneficial tax treaties. This ‘treaty shopping’ can be particularly harmful to African countries, impairing their efforts for domestic resource mobilisation and achieving sustainable development goals. In this paper, we…

Read more
November 2021

Beyond Greed: Why Armed Groups Tax

by Tanya Bandula-Irwin, Max Gallien, Ashley Jackson, Vanessa van den Boogaard & Florian Weigand

Armed groups tax. Journalistic accounts often include a tone of surprise about this fact, while policy reports tend to strike a tone of alarm, highlighting the link between armed group taxation and ongoing conflict. Policymakers often focus on targeting the mechanisms of armed group taxation as part of their conflict strategy, often described as ‘following…

Read more
November 2021

Assessing the Equity and Redistributive Effects of Taxation Reforms in Nigeria

by Henry C. Edeh

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of poverty and inequality reduction through redistribution have indeed become critical concerns in many low- and middle-income countries, including Nigeria. Although redistribution results from the effect of tax revenue collections, micro household-level empirical analyses of the distributional effect of personal income tax (PIT) and value added tax (VAT) reforms…

Read more
October 2021

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

by Vanessa van den Boogaard & Fabrizio Santoro

Community-driven development (CDD) has long been embraced by international development partners as a means of delivering public goods and strengthening social capital and cohesion, particularly in fragile contexts. To receive external support, CDD projects often require co-financing from communities through informal taxes – non-market payments that are not required or defined by state law and…

Read more
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…

Read more
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 focuses mostly on active filers. This paper sheds light on the determinants of non-filing, building on neoclassical and behavioural theories,…

Read more
October 2021

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

by Adrienne Lees & Doris Akol

Mobile money is widely seen as a powerful tool for enhancing financial inclusion and, potentially, improving the economic well-being of the poor. As the mobile money sector, and its turnover, have grown, certain governments have increasingly viewed mobile money transactions as a potentially convenient tax handle. The resulting tax measures are often controversial and draw…

Read more