ICTD Blogs

Commentary and discussion about taxation and development from international experts.

Why African governments should tax the rich

A great deal of attention has been paid to the obstacles African governments face in effectively taxing the profits of transnational corporations. African governments are frequently urged to widen their tax bases by reducing tax incentives for foreign investors. But...
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The ICTD government revenue dataset: still the best option for researchers

In 2010, the ICTD launched efforts to create the ICTD government revenue dataset (GRD), which is increasingly recognized as the best possible source of cross-country revenue data for researchers. An important motivation was concern about the quality and transparency of...
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Malawi Can’t Afford Evidence-Free Tax Campaigns

Over the past couple of weeks Malawi has become the latest poster child for UK campaigns arguing that changes to the international tax system can deliver outsize returns for development. Specifically, Action Aid is calling on the UK government to renegotiate...
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Five Questions About Property Taxation in Africa: Insights from the ICTD Roundtable

Henry Saka,  Commissioner Domestic Tax at the Uganda Revenue Authority speaks at the Roundtable. Photo by Rhiannon McCluskey   It is widely recognised that property taxation is the most viable, efficient, and progressive means of raising local government revenue, with...
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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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Is responsible tax behaviour the next frontier of CSR?

In the past decades, the evolution of international norms has led fair labour practices and environmental sustainability to become core parts of corporate social responsibility. Is fair tax contribution next?    How do international norms come to be?  In the late...
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IMF Speech at the launch of the Government Revenue Dataset

The official launch of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) Government Revenue Dataset Held at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington DC   Speech by Claudia Dziobek, Division Chief, Government Finance Statistics** – IMF September 9, 2014 IMF's Claudia Dziobek...
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G20 leaders adopt BEPS package for International tax reform

There’s surprising news from Antalya, where the G20 leaders met last weekend. The meeting was obviously dominated by immediate crises dramatised by the terrorist attack in Paris and the continuing drama of mass refugee movements. They nevertheless found time to...
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OECD plan means governments no longer taxing in the dark

Two years on from a project triggered by scrutiny of the “successful” tax avoidance structures of multinationals such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, the OECD has delivered its final package of reforms on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). Is the BEPS project a success?...
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Taxpayers’ perceptions on local government taxation in Sierra Leone

  The Centre for Economic Research and Capacity Building (CERCB), just concluded a week-long regional dialogue workshops, where findings on recent surveys on ‘taxpayers’ perceptions’, and ‘informal taxation’ in post-conflict Sierra Leone, were shared. The dialogue workshops were held in...
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The 2015 edition of the ICTD Government Revenue Dataset (GRD)

Highlights of the Updated GRD - Contains new government revenue data until 2012 and in many cases, 2013.  - Better coverage – more data from sources means (Better disaggregation, more countries where we can isolate resource revenues and new observations – e.g....
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More than naming and shaming needed to stop corporate tax avoidance

More than naming and shaming needed to stop corporate tax avoidance Antony Ting, University of Sydney and Kerrie Sadiq, Queensland University of Technology The report of the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into corporate tax avoidance comes with the subtitle – “You cannot tax what you cannot...
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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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