Linking Beneficial Ownership Transparency to Improved Tax Revenue Collection in Developing Countries

This brief thus begins to explore a critical question for governments and civil society: To what extent are current efforts to expand access to information on beneficial ownership likely, in practice, to enhance the ability of low-income countries to increase tax collection? In the absence of significant empirical evidence there is a risk of answers being driven by a combination of gut instinct, professional association and ideology. This brief correspondingly seeks to identify the technical and political prerequisites of improved outcomes, and to point toward the specific empirical questions that may guide conclusions and future action. Doing so is of significant consequence: it aims to inform the extent to which low-income countries – and their supporters – should (or should not) invest priority resources in supporting and advancing these efforts, and related initiatives around Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).