ICTD Blogs

Commentary and discussion about taxation and development from international experts.

New Toolkit Aims to Curb Transfer Mispricing in African Mining

Recently, 38 African tax authorities convened in Abuja for the International Conference on Tax in Africa, organised by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF). The group discussed ways to boost tax revenues, in particular, how to improve collection of corporate...
Continue reading

Updated Government Revenue Dataset provides new insights into developing country tax collection trends

The increasing focus on domestic resource mobilization in developing countries means that, for researchers and policy makers, access to accurate and timely data is more important than ever. The Government Revenue Dataset (GRD) — developed by the International Centre for Tax...
Continue reading

Tax and transparency: When are public disclosure mechanisms necessary and proportionate?

Nations vary in their approach to transparency about taxpayers. In Norway details of everyone’s income and taxes are published in annual ‘tax lists’. In most countries the information on your tax return is considered strictly confidential to the revenue authority. In...
Continue reading

The UN Tax Committee holds out the begging bowl

Last week the UN Committee of Experts on International Tax (UNTC) met at the United Nations HQ in New York, a few metres from the Security Council meetings on Syria, followed by a special session on tax of the Economic and...
Continue reading

Tax Justice for Women’s Rights: The Real Issues in Developing Countries

For the past twenty years, Maama Sula (let’s say) has run a small fast-food restaurant in a town called Wandegeya in Kampala, Uganda. She sources the bulk of her supplies from the women in the nearby market. Because her business...
Continue reading

Estimating tax avoidance: New findings, new questions

There are now a range of estimates of the global scale of tax avoidance. These include: the $600 billion annual tax loss estimated by IMF researchers Crivelli et al. (2015; 2016), which divides roughly into $400 billion of OECD losses and...
Continue reading

New Book Examines Alternative Approach to Taxing Multinational Companies

International tax rules for multinational companies appear to be approaching a major crossroads, for three reasons. First, the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) process is increasingly seen as unlikely to deliver on the ambition of its one stated...
Continue reading

The IMF Finally Speaks on Tobacco Taxes

Last November, I got a birthday gift from the International Monetary Fund: my very own copy of “How to Design and Enforce Tobacco Excises?” I don’t blame you for missing it—it came out 5 days before the US election. I...
Continue reading

Reducing Incentives for Fiscal Indiscipline at Nigeria’s Subnational Government Level

The need to achieve fiscal convergence and consolidation in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. This is especially important considering that the economy recently slipped into recession, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. One notable factor for this is the...
Continue reading

Improving Natural Resource Taxation in Developing Countries

Policy-makers in developing countries, when choosing a mix of fiscal instruments to govern a mining or oil-and-gas development, often face a dilemma. It’s a tug-of-war between tradition, as represented by a preference for royalties that are based on the gross...
Continue reading

Improving International Tax Dispute Settlement

What are international tax disputes? Formally, international tax disputes are between the tax authorities of two different countries. They result from differing interpretations of the provisions of a tax treaty between the two countries. However, they mainly affect taxpayers with cross-border...
Continue reading

Make informal businesses profitable, then seek taxes

Last week I participated in a panel discussion at the KRA Tax Summit on tax policy and economic development. Current fiscal policy is defined by a widening gap between expenditure and revenue generation putting a spotlight on the country’s tax regime...
Continue reading

How to fix Nigeria? Seven Key Issues

A secure nation On a visit to Kigali, a lady extolled their army and why they have the respect of every citizen. Like every typical African, she could not reconcile how the world famous Nigerian military cannot take down Boko Haram....
Continue reading

How One African City Is Flipping the Script on Urban Development

From Wall Street to the World Bank, people are looking at Kampala as a model for how cities can finance their futures. This piece first appeared on Next City.  Joseph Aliguma is perched on the bull bars of a minibus, listing...
Continue reading

Give and you shall receive? Taxation and fiscal contracts in Africa

Last week, the Institute of Development Studies hosted its 50th anniversary conference titled “States, Markets and Society".  As part of the conference, the ICTD hosted a panel on the theme of taxation and fiscal contracts in Africa. The panellists were ICTD’s...
Continue reading