Taxation

Work on taxation at IDS is primarily led by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), 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.

A tax sign in Sierra Leone. Credit: Vanessa van den Boogaard

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is led by Professor Mick Moore and funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key areas of research on tax and development

Why should we tax Africa?

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Image credit: Vanessa van den Boogaard

Experimental research on tax compliance in Rwanda

This project conducted a set of large-scale field experiments in Rwanda aiming to understand the determinants of tax compliance. More details

REDD+ and Forest Taxation in sub-Saharan Africa

This research project will map the channels through which REDD+ could impact upon different forest tax systems in sub-Saharan Africa, and develop proposals to increase the probability that these impacts will be positive. More details

UNU-WIDER Symposium on Taxation & Revenue Mobilisation in Developing Countries consultancy

Bruno Martorano will be conducting research on the topic of ‘Tax Changes and Inequality in Latin America, 1990-2010’ More details

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This is the front cover for Working Paper 26, Unitary Taxation and International Tax Rules

Unitary Taxation and International Tax Rules

ICTD Working Paper 26 (2014)

Any proposal for adoption of a unitary tax (UT) system ought to clear the first and most common hurdle of its compatibility, or lack of it, with the current norms in the international tax system – specifically, the current tax treaty network. This paper argues that unitary taxation is compatible with most of the current bilateral tax treaties and local countries’ national tax laws. More details

This is the front cover for Working Paper 25, Unitary Taxation of the Finance Sector

Unitary Taxation of the Finance Sector

ICTD Working Paper 25 (2014)

The international tax system, designed a century ago, has not kept pace with the modern multinational entity, rendering it ineffective in taxing many modern businesses according to economic activity. There are difficulties associated with the application of the traditional international tax regime to traditional multinational entities, and these are exacerbated when the same regime is applied to sectors of multinational entities which are considered non-traditional businesses. More details

ER97 Front Cover

A Review of Tax Experiments: from the Lab to the Field

IDS Evidence Report 97 (2014)

Tax revenue mobilisation is attracting increasing attention among researchers and policymakers in developed and developing countries alike. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Aid and Taxation: Exploring the Relationship Using New Data

ICTD Working Paper 21 (2014)

This paper examines cross-country evidence concerning the relationship between aid and taxation using a new dataset compiled by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), and including some extensions to the empirical specification common in the literature. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The ICTD Government Revenue Dataset

ICTD Working Paper 19 (2014)

A major obstacle to cross-country research on the role of revenue and taxation in development has been the weakness of available data. This paper presents a new Government Revenue Dataset (GRD), developed through the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Electoral Competitiveness, Political Budget Cycles and Taxation in Developing Countries

ICTD Working Paper 24 (2014)

Despite significant evidence of 'political budget cycles' affecting public expenditure, studies of the impact of elections on tax collection have reached mixed conclusions. Drawing on significantly improved government revenue data, this paper finds, contrary to earlier research, that when we focus on all executive elections in developing countries there is no significant effect on levels of tax collection. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2014

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs November 2012 – March 2014

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2014)

Knowledge and evidence are important elements of all policy processes. While the availability of more or higher quality evidence does not guarantee better policy processes, it is difficult to imagine how development policy and outcomes can be improved without it. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Taxation, Non-Tax Revenue and Democracy: New Evidence Using New Cross-Country Data

ICTD Working Paper 23 (2014)

A large body of cross-country econometric research has investigated the possibility of a political resource curse, by which access to extensive natural resources reduces the extent of democracy and accountability. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa

World Development 60.8 (2014)

Although increasingly justified in terms of statebuilding, recent tax reforms in anglophone Africa contributed only modestly to that goal. They have produced impressive tax agencies, but no detectable increases in revenue collections. They have not addressed some major deficiencies in tax policy and administration. More details

This is the cover of the Journal Article titled To Pay or Not to Pay? Citizens’ Attitudes Toward Taxation in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa by Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen

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

World Development Vol 64 (2014)

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. More details

image for non-ids publications

Tax Revenue Mobilistation In Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges

Governments in developing countries face great challenges in mobilising tax revenues, which result in a gap between what they could collect and what they actually collect. Tax gaps are hard to quantify for reasons that are discussed in the report More details

IDS publications on international development research

Tax Revenue Mobilisation in Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges

In recent years, domestic revenue mobilisation in developing countries gained increasing prominence in the policy debate. Several factors explain this, including the potential benefits of taxation for statebuilding; independence from foreign aid; the fiscal effects of trade liberalisation; the financial and debt crisis in the "West"; and the acute financial needs of developing countries. More details

This is the image for IDS Policy Briefing 58, 'Using Local IT Solutions to Improve Local Government Tax Reform'.

Using Local IT Solutions to Improve Local Government Tax Reform

IDS Policy Briefing 58 (2014)

Appropriate information technology systems are critical to realising the local government tax reforms that are the focus of growing international attention. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa

ICTD Research in Brief 7 (2014)

Within the development field, tax administration reform is an area of relative success. Over the past two decades, the national revenue systems of most countries in anglophone Africa have undergone major reforms. More details

Will Changes to the international Tax System Benefit Low-income Countries?

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 6 (2014)

In recent months tax has climbed up the political agenda in ways that would have been unthinkable only a couple of years ago. More details

This is the cover of the Journal Article titled Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa by Mick Moore.

Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa

World Development (2014)

Although increasingly justified in terms of statebuilding, recent tax reforms in anglophone Africa contributed only modestly to that goal. They have produced impressive tax agencies, but no detectable increases in revenue collections. They have not addressed some major deficiencies in tax policy and administration. The reforms have however helped improve the career prospects for senior African tax More details

IDS publications on international development research

Obstacles to Increasing Tax Revenues in Low Income Countries

ICTD Research In Brief 9 (2013)

This joint ICTD/UNRISD/SDC paper asks why governments of low-income countries do not raise more tax revenue, and explores options for increasing it. More details

cover page for ICTD Working Paper 15

Obstacles to Increasing Tax Revenues in Low Income Countries

This paper is focused on the question: why do the governments of low income countries not raise more tax revenues? Two different but complementary approaches are used to answer it. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Political Economy of Tax Reform in Bangladesh: Political Settlements, Informal Institutions and the Negotiation of Reform

ICTD Working Paper 14 (2013)

This paper explores the political economy of tax reform in Bangladesh over several decades, shedding light on the complex factors that account for unusually effective and sustained resistance to significant reform. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Donors, Aid and Taxation in Developing Countries - An overview

ICTD Research in Brief 4 (2013)

This paper explores the direct impact of donor supported tax reform efforts; the indirect impact of aid and related donor policies on domestic tax effort; the potentially perverse effects of tax-related conditionality; and the impact of broader donor policies including global tax arrangements. It makes detailed recommendations about future donor support for tax reform. More details

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Oxfam, Give the IMF a break!

02 Apr 2012
By Mick Moore
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