ICTD Blogs

Commentary and discussion about taxation and development from international experts.
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A home-grown remedy for Sri Lanka’s revenue crisis?

Sri Lankans sometimes like to claim perverse records for their country. You will likely have heard the proud assertion that ‘Sri Lanka has the highest suicide rate in the world’. Fortunately, that is not true. But here is a genuine...
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Will Google dispute spark global tax war, despite OECD tax agreement?

On Wednesday, 31 countries formally agreed to support and implement one of the main recommendations put forward by the OECD to reduce tax avoidance by transnational corporations, the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) recommendations. This major initiative has been somewhat sidelined by media...
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The Sustainable Development Goals – Reject Tax Targeting

  There is good news in the agenda for the Third Financing for Development Conference to be held in Addis Ababa on 13-16th July. For the first time, domestic resource mobilization is more prominent than international aid. The emphasis is on the ways in...
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Tax Justice Campaigning: Is Tough Always Smart?

  The Tax Justice Network has just published a report that starts from the assertion that the OECD and the G20 have been engaged in a ‘marketing campaign’ to ‘discredit and discourage’ the participation of developing countries in a new system of automatic...
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India’s firm stance on tax could actually help investors

  India keeps getting into arguments with foreign firms over tax; is it wise to do so? The Financial Times, for one, is in no doubt that India is scaring off foreign investors, and that it is making a mistake. A...
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Measuring the Performance of Tax Collectors: Good Sense, Quietly Buried

  Does Argentina collect its taxes more efficiently and effectively than Azerbaijan? Brazil than Burundi? Chad than Colombia? You can find some numbers that throw some light on the question. In particular, for the countries of the OECD and now for...
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The Great Tax Awakening? Three Reservations

  Never has there been such extensive popular and political interest in tax reform. Never have so many governments declared that they intend to change the global tax system and ensure that transnational corporations pay their fair share. Never have arcane...
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Donors, be strategic. Aid and domestic resource mobilisation in sub-Saharan Africa

  Along with a colleague who is a specialist on Latin America, I recently attended a meeting in Africa on African tax issues.  After a couple of days of discussions, my colleague told me that he was surprised that so much...
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Better coordination key to more tax and less aid

  In August of this year, the UK Parliament’s International Development Select Committee published a report on its investigations into DFID's work on tax and development.   The process was in some ways impressive.  A number of MPs on the Committee showed...
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Are You Getting Excited about ‘Formulary Apportionment’?

  I thought not. And, by the way, formulary apportionment is not directly connected to children’s milk food formulae – although more of it in our lives should ensure that more under-nourished babies are better fed. Formulary apportionment is all about taxation of transnational corporations....
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Understanding the Tax Man: How to improve public revenues in Sri Lanka

In November of last year I visited Colombo, Sri Lanka, for a conference on tax and development. It was organised by the Institute of Policy Studies, together with the International Centre for Tax and Development at IDS. After the conference, my friend Anjali asked me...
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Stopping the Race to the Bottom

  We have just launched a research report on ‘Who drives economic reform in Vietnam’s provinces?’. Vietnam continues to surprise the world with the speed and depth of its economic transformation. Our project finds that the decentralisation of economic power from central...
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Third Plenary Meeting of the OECD Task Force on Tax and Development

  Mick Moore, ICTD CEO, reports and reflects The OECD's Task Force on Tax and Development is neither the most streamlined of these affiliates – it has more than 100 members – nor the one closest to the centre of power.  It to...
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Exciting Accounting? Country-by-Country Reporting For Transnational Corporations

  Yes, it sounds very tedious. Accounting does not interest most people concerned with development. We may agree it is necessary, but we do not think it is very interesting. And most of us do not understand it. How many of...
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Arguments against aid: Cheap tricks or Compelling evidence?

For much of the last 50 years, development studies practiced a conspiracy of near-silence against fundamental criticisms of development aid. Plenty of people wrote books and articles about how aid could be improved, but few questioned its fundamental value. Easy arguments...
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