Tax and Gender in Developing Countries: What are the Issues?

Encouraging tax compliance demands a careful understanding of how taxpayers think about and experience taxation. Knowledge about taxpayer attitudes and behaviour is essential when analyzing opportunities and constraints for reform, and for the design and implementation of effective policy and administrative measures to enhance compliance. Until recently, relatively little was known about taxpayers’ views of taxation, taxpayer behaviour and the incidence of different taxes in Africa. This had to do with poor data, methodological challenges, and limited interest in the topic among researchers. From the beginning, ICTD’s work in this area had two objectives. First, to learn more about tax compliance. Second, to help build research infrastructure so that African researchers could gradually do more of this work themselves. The second objective has been achieved by two main means. One was by investing in a wider range of tax data through the Afrobarometer survey and the use of tax administrative data. The second was through joint research with and training of African researchers. ICTD’s research on compliance has been developed in partnership with researchers from Africa, and in close dialogue with tax administrations and development agencies. The joint Rwanda Revenue Authority-ATAF-ICTD training seminars have also been important in building a small pool of younger African scholars working in the field.