To Pay or Not to Pay? Citizen’s Attitudes Towards Taxation in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa

Authors: Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Ingrid Hoem Sjursen
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: August 2014


World Development 64

This paper examines factors that determine citizens’ tax-compliance attitude in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa. Using the 2011–12 Afrobarometer survey data, we find that tax-compliance attitude is positively correlated with provision of public services in all the four countries. However, the correlation depends on the specific service in question and differs between countries. Tax knowledge and awareness are found to be positively correlated with tax-compliance attitude. On the other hand, frequent payment to non-state actors in exchange for security and individual’s perception that their own ethnic group is treated unfairly by the government are negatively correlated with tax-compliance attitude.