Building up efficient and fair tax systems project banner 2020

Building up efficient and fair tax systems

– lessons based on administrative tax data
This project analyses administrative tax data to provide knowledge for better policy-making and inclusive development in selected partner countries. Using administrative data for policy analysis and research offers extensive possibilities for supporting the development of well-performing tax systems and frontier data management capacity in developing countries.

Countries in the Global South have increased their tax revenue in the last decades, but overall revenues have often remained too low to sustain provision of crucially important public goods. Well-planned, efficient and equitable taxation helps to pursue economic growth, reduce inequalities, combat poverty, and provide social services.

This research project investigates how countries could develop their tax systems further by improving compliance and mitigating the potential harmful effects of tax on enterprise growth and job creation. 

The project aims to build institutional and individual capacity of national tax administrators and economics researchers through technical co-operation, research co-creation, and building national and international communities of practice around the use of administrative tax data in the Global South. The research outputs of the project are intended to assist policy makers as they develop and implement policy tools to improve development prospects in their countries.

Key questions

This project will address the following topics:

  • What are the most cost-efficient ways to ensure tax compliance?
  • How does taxation impact the size of the formal sector?
  • What does the tax data show about different aspects of sustainable development, such as firm behaviour, social assistance distribution, and inequality?
  • How could tax regimes targeted for small and medium-sized enterprises be designed to better foster firm growth and employment?
  • How can local researchers be engaged to take advantage of tax data?
Watch this space

Calls for research using this previously unavailable data will be announced from 2021 onwards.

All papers, events, briefs, blog posts, and opportunities to engage relating to the project will be available on this webpage. 

This project is divided into sub-projects, the information of which will be updated on these pages. The ongoing collaboration in South Africa and Uganda offers an example of the co-operation and research possibilities in other countries.

UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Improving capacities for tax and other domestic revenue collection is a key target of SDG 17.  In addition, SDG 16 is dedicated to the promotion of inclusive societies with effective and accountable institutions. Furthermore, tax capacity is closely linked to the ability of governments to offer better public services to end poverty (SDG 1), reduce inequalities (SDG 10), and ensure sustainable economic growth (SDG 8). Good governance in the area of tax and social protection is a key factor in efforts to improve women and girls’ living standards as they are more dependent on efficient public service delivery (SDG 5).

Context

Main subject

Theme: Current programme