Research in Brief 95

A key question facing governments is whether the pandemic has changed attitudes towards taxation and what this means for tax reform. Given that the history of tax policy in high-income countries reveals a link between periods of crisis and significant shifts in attitudes towards taxation, could the same be true in low-income countries? Little research has been done on this potential dynamic and taxpayer perceptions of progressive tax reform in these contexts is not well understood. In this paper we explore the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on attitudes toward taxation and unpack what the crisis reveals about the dynamics and politics of taxation. We use novel survey data from Sierra Leone collected before the pandemic, shortly after the pandemic’s onset, and for almost a year afterwards. Summary of Working Paper 166.

Authors

Vanessa van den Boogaard

Vanessa is a Research Fellow at the ICTD and a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. She completed her PhD thesis on informal revenue generation and statebuilding in Sierra Leone, and has ongoing research on the topic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. Vanessa leads the ICTD’s new programme on civil society engagement in tax reform and co-leads the research programme on informal taxation.

Wilson Prichard

Wilson Prichard is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Tax and Development. His research focuses on the relationship between taxation and citizen demands for improved governance in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nicolas Orgeira Pillai

Nicolas Orgeira is a Research Officer at the Local Government Revenue Initiative and the ICTD and a doctoral candidate in Economics at the University of Sussex.
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