In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing domestic revenue mobilisation has become even more of a priority for low-income countries. One of the commonly untapped sources of revenue across many of these countries are high net worth individuals, who usually manage to avoid contributing their fair share of taxes. This is also the case in Sierra Leone, which signalled its intention to develop a strategy to increase compliance of this taxpayer segment in 2019. In this paper we provide an initial assessment of how fit for purpose the current legal setting is, as well as give a general picture of the most likely characteristics of high net worth individuals in the country. Our analysis is based on semi structured interviews with stakeholders from both the public and private sector, and currently available administrative data, and provides a series of suggestions for next steps in the development of a dedicated strategy.
Dr. Jalia Kangave holds a PhD in Law from the University of British Columbia, and has over decade of experience in the fields of taxation, law, and international development. She previously served as the Principal of the East African School of Taxation in Uganda, worked as a tax consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers Uganda, and was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. Dr Kangave is the lead consultant for the International Centre for Tax and Development’s research programme on gender and taxation.
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.
Ishmail Kamara is an economist in the Monitoring, Research, and Planning Department at the National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone, where he works on various tax administrative and research projects, as well as assisting in development of the department focus. He holds a Master degree in economic policy and analysis from Addis Ababa University.
Authors: Jalia Kangave, Giovanni Occhiali & Ishmail Kamara
Date: March 2023
Citation: Kangave, J.; Occhiali, G. and Kamara, I. (2023) How Might the National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone Enhance Revenue Collection by Taxing High Net Worth Individuals?, ICTD Working Paper 156, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/ICTD.2023.008