ICTD Blogs

Commentary and discussion about taxation and development from international experts.

Promoting Tax Bargains in Uganda and Beyond: The Importance of Civil Society and Parliamentarians

While developing countries have acknowledged the importance of domestic resource mobilization in development, in practice, not enough attention is being paid to the importance of tax bargains. Attempting to increase tax-to-GDP ratios without promoting negotiations between the taxing authorities and those...
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Row over UN tax body is a needless distraction for developing nations

When an international development conference in Addis Ababa almost collapsed last week, the confrontation emerged from an obscure and unlikely source. Who knew that the status of the UN Tax Committee could so stir the emotions? After taking negotiations to the brink, the G77 group of...
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Making VAT more visible can be an efficient tool in building a tax-paying culture

  A new study shows that Value-Added-Tax can be used to educate people outside the reach of direct income taxation on their role as tax-paying citizens. Improved tax compliance could be the outcome. As aid continues to dwindle day after day,...
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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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New UNCTAD Paper on Corporate Tax in Developing Countries

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published a major new study on corporate tax, which specifically aims to add value to the ongoing debate on MNE tax avoidance in developing countries. The study used the ICTD Government Revenue Dataset to provide a baseline...
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ICTD Supports New Project On Conflict And Taxation In Congo

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is supporting two new and important projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The first project is a study titled Bandits or states?Informal taxation, governance, and creation of political order by armed...
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How Property Tax Would Benefit Africa

  New publication by Nara Monkam and Mick Moore The developmental benefits of governments taxing citizens, even for modest sums, are often disregarded. African governments have long depended on revenue from natural resources or foreign aid to fund budgets. While the...
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Governing Lagos: The Politics of Reform in Nigeria’s Megacity

An excellent new study shows how reforming Governors of Lagos State, Nigeria constructed a new social contract around taxation In fifteen years, Lagos has gone from being a symbol of disorder to a widely cited example of effective African governance. The Lagos...
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Newer and Better? Reflections on a new dataset on taxation and development

  It is said that nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Yet, we neither have valid vital statistics nor reliable information on taxes for many developing countries. While the importance of taxation for development...
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Role of Tax Structures on Economic Growth: New evidence

The past three decades have seen sweeping changes in the means by which many developing countries collect fiscal revenues. From a heavy reliance on trade taxes in the 1980’s, many low and middle-income countries, with guidance and support from the IMF,...
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Why Good Tax Data Matters in Africa

  Big data has been creeping in all aspects of our lives. There is now an unimaginably vast amount of data, and it is rapidly growing by the day. Sadly, there is surprisingly little data - especially accurate data - on how much...
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Property tax in Africa: the ‘Cinderella’ of revenue instruments and why it matters for development

  It is well-established that urban property tax is among the most underutilised revenue sources in Africa. Many cities across the continent are economically booming today, with construction sectors driving economic growth and international investment in property rising. More often than not, however,...
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ICTD Government Revenue Dataset: Best Bet for Tax Data and Research

  I recently had the privilege of attending the launch of the ICTD Government Revenue Dataset (GRD) in Washington DC. Having had early access to this data for some time now, I feel well placed to shed some light on why...
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Corporate tax avoidance and development: opening Pandora’s box

  Taxation is important for development, not only because taxes provide the revenues to fund public services and infrastructure, but because they are a critical accountability link between governments and citizens. Regular headlines and report findings tell us that a major...
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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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