ICTD Blogs

Commentary and discussion about taxation and development from international experts.

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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Tax exemptions for aid-funded projects: reasons for change

  In recent years, tax exemptions for donor-financed projects have come to the fore within the international community.[1] Interest has increased because of the need to improve domestic resource mobilisation (DRM). This has become all the more necessary following a series of recent...
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A world upside down? New approach to international tax

  A new report from the OECD is contemplating major changes to international tax rules. This is a progress report on its project on `base erosion and profit shifting’ (BEPS), which highlights the large tax revenue losses to countries around the world due...
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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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The political economy of tax incentives in low-income countries

  The ICTD Annual Centre Meeting on tax exemptions concluded with a presentation by Professor Richard Bird. Drawing on his vast experience, Professor Bird summarised key practical messages about tax exemptions, while challenging the audience to move beyond the stale debates...
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Taxed to death (really)

For people living in the Eastern villages of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), it is often impossible to carry out daily activities without being taxed. But can an 'all-pervasive system of taxation' have an upside?" Katherine Haver discusses how taxation...
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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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What's trust got to do with it?

  Trust in local government authorities and social influence affects people’s decision to pay for local services. It is widely believed that non-payment of public services by citizens is due to their inability to pay as a result of poverty and...
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International Information Sharing

  Capital flight by high net worth individuals is a serious problem for many developing countries. Although the quantification of offshore wealth holdings and the associated overall revenue losses is difficult, they are generally considered to be sizable. While not necessarily...
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New Research on the role of tax havens

In recent years, the literature has brought forward interesting insights and stimulating new research activities, but many of the central questions still remain  unanswered. For some time, the policy and academic debate has treated tax haven economies (as defined by conventional...
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Do tax policy failures explain the state of the world?

  Across the world, tax effort has been increasingly based on regressive consumption and payroll taxes, which depress consumption and employment. The current tax system is obsolete. It under-taxes financial wealth and transactions as well as negative externalities such as pollution...
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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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