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Active Ghosts: Nil-filing in Rwanda

Nil-filing refers to taxpayers who report zero on all fields of their tax declaration. It is a largely ignored phenomenon in the tax literature, despite being well known to tax administrators. There is almost no evidence on the characteristics of …

Mainstreaming Good Governance into Nigerian Tax Reform

This study seeks to shine a light on key governance issues in the Nigerian tax system beyond the technical issues that have so far been emphasised in Nigeria's tax reform efforts. Those principles are isolated for indepth analysis in the hope of pro…

To File or Not To File? Another Dimension of Non-Compliance: The Eswatini Taxpayer Survey

Non-filing refers to taxpayers who fail to submit a tax declaration, thus becoming ghosts in the eyes of tax authorities. It is a widespread phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa, and has a number of detrimental fiscal effects. Non-filing has been larg…

Impôts et Taxes au Sénégal: Entre Déficit D’informations et Faible Légitimité / Taxes in Senegal: Between Information Deficit and Poor Legitimacy

Taxes are seen as an instrument of income redistribution and a means for public authorities to obtain the resources necessary to finance their policies. In 2013, the Senegalese government adopted a new tax code to make it more readable and better li…

Tax Certainty? The Private Rulings Regime in Uganda in Comparative Perspective

Taxpayers sometimes engage in complex transactions with uncertain tax treatment, such as mergers, acquisitions, demergers and spin-offs. With the rise of global value chains and proliferation of multinational corporations, these transactions increas…

Using Administrative Data to Assess the Impact of the Pandemic in Low-income Countries: An Application with VAT Data in Rwanda

This paper uses administrative data from Value Added Tax (VAT) returns to provide insights on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rwanda. We show that the lockdown in Rwanda had a severe impact on the domestic economy, despite relatively low case…

Are Women More Tax Compliant than Men? How Would We Know?

Most research on tax compliance, including research on gender differences in compliance, is based on one of two problematic sources of data. One is surveys enquiring about attitudes and beliefs about taxpaying, or actual taxpaying behaviour. The oth…

Perception of Taxpayers and Tax Administrators Towards Value Added Withholding Tax in Zimbabwe

This study attempts to evaluate the perception of taxpayers and tax administrators towards value added withholding tax (VAWHT) policy in Zimbabwe, and to identify ways of improving VAWHT administration to increase collection of revenue from value ad…

The VAT in Practice: Equity, Enforcement and Complexity - Working Paper

The value added tax (VAT) is supposed to be a tax on consumption that achieves greater economic efficiency than alternative indirect taxes. It is also meant to facilitate enforcement through the ‘self-enforcing mechanism’ – based on opposed incentiv…

Perceptions of Taxpayers and Tax Administrators towards Value Added Withholding Tax in Zimbabwe

Value added tax (VAT) has grown in importance in Africa since it was introduced on a large scale in the 1990s. It is now the largest single source of tax revenue for African governments. At the same time, and almost perversely, the efficiency of VAT…

Glimpses of Fiscal State in Sub-Sharan Africa

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 d…

Five Tenets for Consideration when Undertaking Property Tax Reform in Africa

The current COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis have seen Africa fall into recession for the first time in over 25 years. This has strained already limited local government resources significantly. At the same time, the pandemic has hig…

The Promise and Limitations of Information Technology for Tax Mobilisation

Tax revenue in many low-income countries is inadequate for funding investments in public goods and human capital. While tax systems have been adopting new technologies to improve tax collection for many years, limitations to in-person interactions d…

Should Governments Tax Digital Financial Services? A Research Agenda to Understand Sector-specific Taxes on DFS

Digital financial services (DFS) have rapidly expanded across Africa and other low-income countries. At the same time, low-income countries face strong pressures to increase domestic resource mobilisation, and major challenges in taxing the digital …

Digital Financial Services and Digital IDs: What Potential do They have for Better Taxation in Africa

New digital technologies are now being widely used in Africa and lower-income countries (LICs). This has had an impact on tax administration, which has been increasingly digitised. Specifically Digital Financial Services (DFS) and digital IDs can im…

Mandating Digital Tax Tools as a Response to COVID: Evidence from Eswatini

Many tax authorities changed the mode of interacting with taxpayers from physical to online as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to diminish the spread of the virus. Eswatini, the country under study, mandated the use of online tax filing through…

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