International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD)

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is a global policy research network, devoted to improving the quality of tax policy and administration in developing countries, with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. It is led by Professor Mick Moore and funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Commissioner General, Ethiopian Revenue Authority being interviewed by journalists at the Annual Meeting of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). Credit: Rhiannon McCluskey - IDS/ICTD

The ICTD’s primary objective is to provide research evidence that supports developing countries in raising domestic revenues equitably and sustainably, in a manner that is conducive to pro-poor economic growth and good governance. It does this by generating and disseminating research to policymakers and the public in order to broaden public debate on taxation issues in Africa. The ICTD also seeks to build the capacity of revenue authorities and academics in Africa to conduct research on tax issues through research collaboration and training.

Key ICTD research themes

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Image: Former Commissioner General of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority, Beker Shale, being interviewed by journalists at the ICTD Annual Meeting in 2016. Credit: R.McCluskey - IDS/ICTD

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Non-IDS publication

Chapter 1: Taxing Multinational Business in Low-Income Countries

This is a chapter from the book: Taxing Multinational Business in Lower-Income Countries: More details

Non-IDS publication

Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa

African colonial history suggests that British colonial rule may have undermined state centralisation due to legacies of ethnic segregation and stronger executive constraints. More details

This is the front cover of ICTD Summary Brief 14, Taxing High Net Worth Individuals: Lessons from the Uganda Revenue Authority’s Experience

Taxing High Net Worth Individuals: Lessons from the Uganda Revenue Authority’s Experience

ICTD Summary Brief 14 (2018)

Low-income countries have, on average, reduced their reliance on foreign aid inthe past two decades. This has been achieved in part by collaborating with high-income countries and donor agencies to strengthen the capacity of tax authorities to collect revenue. While significant progress has been made, various revenue sources remain untapped. Many low-income countries continue to rely heavily on indirect taxes, such as Value Added Tax, and customs and excise duties. Income taxes contribute a very small percentage to total tax revenue, and are paid mainly by people in formal employment and large companies. More details

Wp506_FrontCover

How Do We Research Tax Morale at the Subnational Level?

IDS Working Paper 506 (2018)

One of the most effective ways of increasing voluntary tax compliance is by improving tax morale. Several studies have been undertaken to examine why some individuals pay taxes while others do not. While many of these studies have been conducted at the national level, there is an increasing body of research at the subnational level. More details

This is the front cover of ICTD Research in Brief 16, Taxation, Property Rights and the Social Contract in Lagos

Taxation, Property Rights and the Social Contract in Lagos: Summary of Working Paper 73

ICTD Research in Brief 16 (2018)

This ICTD Research in Brief is a two-page summary of ICTD Working Paper 73 by Tom Goodfellow and Olly Owen. This series is aimed at policy makers, tax administrators, fellow researchers and anyone else who is big on interest and short on time. More details

This is the front cover of ICTD Summary Brief 5, What Have We Learned About Tax Compliance in Africa?

What Have We Learned About Tax Compliance in Africa?

ICTD Summary Brief 5 (2018)

Governments’ abilities to collect taxes depend on people’s willingness to pay them. Encouraging tax compliance demands a careful understanding of how taxpayers think about and experience taxation. Knowledge about taxpayer attitudes and behaviour is essential when analysing opportunities and constraints for reform, and for the design and implementation of effective policy and administrative measures to enhance compliance. More details

Non-IDS publication

Urban Fortunes and Skeleton Cityscapes: Real Estate and Late Urbanization in Kigali and Addis Ababa

In many parts of Africa, societies that remain primarily rural are experiencing accelerated urban growth and highly visible booms in property development. In the absence of significant industrialization, investment is pouring directly into what Lefebvre and Harvey characterized as the ‘secondary circuit’ of capital. More details

Teaser image for Lessons for International Tax Reform from the US State Experience under Formulary Apportionment

Lessons for International Tax Reform from the US State Experience under Formulary Apportionment

Research Report 2 (2018)

This work undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the US state experience under formulary apportionment of corporate income. More details

This is the front cover of ICTD Summary Brief 7, What Have We Learned About International Tax Disputes

What Have We Learned About International Tax Disputes

ICTD Summary Brief 7 (2018)

This Briefing summarises ICTD Working Paper 55, which examines the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) for tax authorities to resolve their differences over the interpretation of tax treaties. It surveys available evidence on reasons for the increase in such conflicts, and analyses proposals for improving the MAP, especially mandatory binding arbitration. Despite the shift to arbitration in the past decade among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) states, there has been a continued rise in conflicts and in the time taken to resolve them. It seems inappropriate, especially for developing countries, to deal with these important issues through international procedures cloaked in total secrecy. More details

This is the front cover of ICTD Summary Brief 3, International Corporate Taxation

International Corporate Taxation

ICTD Summary Brief 3 (2018)

Much of ICTD’s research concerns domestic taxation, but international taxation is also important to developing countries – especially taxation of transnational corporations (TNCs). In many developing countries the formal economy is dominated by foreign-owned firms, while much domestic economic activity occurs informally, with few if any books and records maintained. More details

This is the front cover for Working Paper 63, Transfer Pricing in Argentina 1932-2015

Transfer Pricing in Argentina 1932-2015

ICTD Working Paper 63 (2018)

This document provides a review of the Argentine tax authority’s structure for dealing with transfer pricing in Argentina; a chronological review of the legislative transfer pricing framework; and a very extensive listing of the transfer pricing cases that have reached different court levels. The document also summarises some of the difficulties encountered in relation to the application of the arm’s length principle in Argentina; coordination with foreign tax authorities; and the regulatory changes expected following the reports resulting from the G20/OECD BEPS Action Plan. More details

Non-IDS publication

Improving International Tax Dispute Settlement

This ICTD Research in Brief is a two-page summary of ICTD Working Paper 55 by Sol Picciotto. This series is aimed at policy makers, tax administrators, fellow researchers and anyone else who is big on interest and short on time. More details

Non-IDS publication

The Effect of Value Chain Interventions for Staple Crops: Evidence from Small-Scale Farmers in Nicaragua

Journal of Development Studies (2017)

This paper quantitatively assesses the effect of value chain development projects on market linkages of small-scale farmers of a staple crop and agricultural income. More details

This is the front cover of ICTD Working Paper 70, How Can Governments of Low-Income Countries Collect More Tax Revenue?

How Can Governments of Low-Income Countries Collect More Tax Revenue?

ICTD Working Paper 70 (2017)

It is widely believed that the governments of many low-income countries, and especially the relatively poor performers, should be aiming to increase the proportion of GDP they raise in tax revenue. More details

Non-IDS publication

Building Support for Taxation in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Mexico

Drawing on insights from the literature on institutional design—how rules shape behavior to achieve desired outcomes—this article examines how certain design features of taxes—such as allowing for civil society oversight, earmark mechanisms that direct tax revenue for a specific purpose, and sunset provisions that make the duration of taxes finite—affect political support for tax reforms. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Assisting Developing Countries in Taxation after the OECD’s BEPS Reports: A Suggested Approach for the Donor Community

ICTD Working Paper 71 (2017)

This paper explores how the international donor community might most productively offer technical assistance to developing countries in the area of taxation, in light of the OECD’s recently completed study of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ (BEPS). The paper addresses both the political and the technical constraints facing developing country tax administrations. More details

This is the front cover for Working Paper 60, Improving the Performance of Natural Resource Taxation in Developing Countries

Improving the Performance of Natural Resource Taxation in Developing Countries

ICTD Working Paper 60 (2017)

This paper explores the administrative challenges posed to developing countries as a result of the increasing emphasis in fiscal regimes for natural resource extraction since the Second World War on income-based taxes, including both corporate income and resource rent taxes, as opposed to royalties. More details