Working Paper

ICTD Working Paper;121

Taxing Agricultural Income in the Global South: Revisiting Uganda’s National Debate

Published on 1 April 2021

The issue of agricultural taxation has almost completely disappeared from the scholarly and policy agendas in recent decades. And yet, agriculture is taxed very lightly despite contributing substantially to GDP across many Global South countries today.

In some cases, light-touch taxation may be necessary to encourage investment in the sector and to protect small and subsistence farmers. However, anecdotal evidence from countries like Uganda suggests that there are a substantial number of high-income earners engaged in agricultural activities that are sheltered almost completely from any form of taxation.

More effectively taxing these high-income earners could provide much-needed resources to finance public service provision in lower-income countries. The time is ripe, this paper argues, to revitalise discussions about how best to tax the agriculture sector.

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Stewart-Wilson. G. and Waiswa. R. (2021) 'Taxing Agricultural Income in the Global South: Revisiting Uganda’s National Debate,' ICTD Working Paper 121, Brighton, Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/ICTD.2021.008

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Graeme Stewart-Wilson

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Institute of Development Studies


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