Public Administration and Development Volume 43, Number 2

Tax agents’ role in ensuring or deterring compliance with tax obligations has received relatively little attention in the literature. Some evidence has emerged indicating when agents improve (or decrease) compliance, and why taxpayers employ their services. However, most existing studies have focused on high- or upper-middle-income countries. As the tax systems of low-income countries present a unique set of compliance issues, a closer look at the role that tax agents play in these contexts is warranted. In this paper, we present evidence from two surveys on their use in Uganda. Our results show that tax agents contribute to an increased quality of filed returns thereby leading to lower audit adjustments The type of services more frequently requested by taxpayers seem to match those in high-income countries, as do their reasons for engaging tax agents in the first place.


Giovanni Occhiali

Dr Giovanni Occhiali is a Development Economist based at the Institute of Development Studies, where he works on a number of projects related to Tax Administration and Compliance, Tax and Governance and co-leads ICTD’s capacity building programme together with Dr Max Gallien. His research focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa, and outside of the field of taxation his main interests are energy economics and industrial policies. He holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham and prior to joining ICTD, he was a Researcher at the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and an Overseas Development Institute Fellow at the National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone.

Fredrick Kalyango

Fredrick Kalyango is a tax practitioner with over 15 years of experience in tax administration. He is currently working as an Ag. Manager of Quality Assurance in the Domestic Taxes Department, Business Policy Division of the Uganda Revenue Authority. He is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU).
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