ICTD Blogs

Commentary and discussion about taxation and development from international experts.

How Developing Countries can take Control of their own Tax Destinies

  Krishen Mehta, a Senior Adviser to TJN, has written a short document with ten pointers offering ways that developing countries can take control over their tax destinies. We reproduce his article below: Introduction: The question of how developing countries get a fair deal...
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Is tax the next big corporate social responsibility issue?

  In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes - Benjamin Franklin, 1789 [1]   Globalisation has made Benjamin Franklin’s famous assertion somewhat relative. Transnational Corporations (TNCs) operating in the global economy have a wide range of possibilities to...
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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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Low revenue from the mining sector in Zambia and Tanzania: fiscal design, technical capacity or political will?

  The developing world and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) in particular, is witnessing a renewed global race for its resources. From mid-2000 to recent years, the real price has multiplied several times for key minerals, despite a recent slowdown. This change...
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The OECD's Base Erosion Action Plan and Developing Countries

  On July 19, the OECD released its recommendations for global efforts to counter the much-publicised phenomenon of “base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).”1  Base erosion is the use of legal arrangements by members of multinational business groups to shift income...
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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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International reporting standards required to tackle tax avoidance

  Alan Carter, senior economist at the Internatinal Tax Dialogue says high quality international accounting standards are required to mitigate tax avoidance.  He argues that improved standards will benefit corporate taxpayers and tax authorities as they will; - enhance transparency in...
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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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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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