Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV)

The Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the IFS aims to contribute to more effective tax policy making in low- and middle-income countries through applied research and policy analysis and a focus on improving the analytical capacity of partner governments. TAXDEV is funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).

The centre's work programme consists of two main components.

  • The first involves working with governments and other stakeholders in Ethiopia and Ghana – to co-produce modelling tools and analyses of the key tax and benefit policy and administration issues that these countries face. 

Find out more about TAXDEV and its programme of work.


 

IFS researcher Ross Warwick discusses the impact of VAT in low and middle income countries

News | 05 May 2018

As in many high income countries, developing countries often exempt or apply reduced rates of VAT to food and other goods and services in an effort to limit the impacts of VAT on poorer households' cost of living. But with richer households often consuming far more of these goods in absolute terms, and developing countries expanding their cash transfer and social protection schemes, are there better ways to support poorer households?

In a new video, Ross Warwick, a research economist at the IFS, talks about ongoing research being carried out alongside Commitment to Equity Institute (www.ceqinstitute.org)  and World Bank (www.worldbank.org) researchers, on this issue.

You can see our working paper here.

        


Ghana Ministry of Finance officials explain how the TAXDEV programme is helping improve tax policy analysis in Ghana

News | 13 April 2018

Our partners from the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance joined us in London for the TAXDEV Policy Conference on March 23rd, where they presented our joint work, and discussed some of the key tax policy issues facing Ghana. While they were here they also took part in video interviews to explain how our joint work is helping improve tax policy analysis and the policy-making process in Ghana.

Andara Kamara, Assistant Revenue Officer at the Ghana Ministry of Finance explains how the GHATAX microsimulation model allows policy analysis to move beyond revenue effects.



Dan Nuer, Head of the Tax Policy Unit at the Ghana Ministry of Finance discusses some of the key challenges facing policymakers in Ghana - and how the IFS TAXDEV programme is helping address these challenges.



TAXDEV Policy Conference: Analysing Tax Policy in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)

News | 23 March 2018

Low and middle income countries (LMICs) face particular challenges in designing and implementing efficient and equitable tax systems. At this event on 23 March, researchers presented work that that has been undertaken since TAXDEV began in Spring 2016 and Michael Keen, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, gave a keynote address on tax and development in LMICs. Policymakers from Ghana provided insights from collaborative analytical projects that they have conducted with TAXDEV researchers to address some of the key tax policy issues that they face.  Presentations covered issues such as the impacts of taxes and transfers on income distributions in LMICs, analysis of how taxpayers respond to the incentives created by tax systems, and examples of how these responses can be incorporated into analysis.

Read more about the event and download the papers and presentations


IFS and Ghanaian Ministry of Finance disseminate their joint work at event in Accra, Ghana, attended by key public sector, private sector and international stakeholders

News | 7 March 2018

Researchers from IFS TAXDEV were in Accra on 7th March 2018 for an event hosted by the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance (MoF). The event was a chance to present ongoing work on tax policy analysis that is being undertaken in collaboration with the MoF and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and to get feedback and suggestions from key stakeholders.

IFS researchers David Phillips and Ross Warwick and MoF analysts Seth Anoff Akuffo and Andara Kamara from the Revenue Policy Division (RPD), presented three strands of their joint work:

1. Refining approaches to costing new tax policies, including accounting for the potential impacts of policies on taxpayer behavior.

2. Building a tax and transfer microsimulation model (GHATAX) to assess the impacts of tax and transfer policies and policy proposals on the incomes of different sections of Ghanaian society

3. Improving the availability of micro-level tax data, to allow more reliable and accurate tax policy analysis

Anthony Dzadrza, director of the RPD, introduced and closed the event, and Edward Abrokwah, Principal Economics Officer of the RPD set out the background to our joint work, and chaired discussions.

The event was attended by representatives from several divisions of the MoF, the GRA, the Ghana Statistical Service, the International Growth Centre, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, the University of Ghana, the IMF, USAID, GIZ, DfID, PwC, KPMG and Ali Nakyea and Associates. Attendees provided useful comments and suggestions on taking this work forward and provided positive feedback on the work undertaken to date. 

Ghanaian officials meet with IFS researchers

Ghanaian officials, and key public sector, private sector and international stakeholders meet with IFS researchers


Analysts from Ghanaian Ministry of Finance and Revenue Authority visit IFS, London, for microsimulation training and meetings with HM Treasury and HMRC peers

News | 5 December 2017

Analysts from the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Revenue Authority (GRA) have completed a two week visit to the London offices of the IFS. The main purpose of this visit was the completion of the second round of training on the GHATAX tax and benefit microsimulation model. This model uses household survey and tax administration data from Ghana and is designed to allow analysts to estimate the revenue and distributional effects of existing tax policy and tax policy reforms. The focus of this round of training was familiarisation with new features added to GHATAX and with the process of constructing the input data required by the model.

During the visit, the IFS, MoF and GRA team also met with officials from HM Treasury and HMRC to share experiences with tax policy costing and microsimulation analysis, as well as broader tax policy issues. It was clear from these meetings that policy-makers in Ghana and the UK face many of the same challenges and that there is scope for lessons and approaches to be shared.


IFS researcher delivers skills training on revenue data management and analysis with civil servants from Ethiopia

News | 18 September 2017

India Keable-Elliott from the IFS's TAXDEV recently delivered remote training on data management and analysis to partners at the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC). The objectives of the training were to support our partners to further develop their familiarity with MS Excel and STATA, and to apply these statistical software skills to analyse revenue data from different tax bases over time. This builds on previous STATA training sessions delivered by IFS researchers in Addis Ababa in January 2017, and is part of TAXDEV’s broader programme of skills development and training in Ethiopia, which provides support to civil servants to enable them to conduct high-quality and independent analysis and modelling of the impacts of tax policy.


The role of evidence for tax policy and administration design: Discussing IFS' work with Tax Administrators from Commonwealth countries

News | 01 September 2017

On 1st of September of 2017, Laura Abramovsky spoke at HMRC's International Tax Training Programme, a flagship programme run by HMRC on behalf of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA). Laura introduced IFS' work to support evidence-based tax policy and administration design in the UK and in low- and middle-income countries. Find the presentation here.


TAXDEV and Ghana’s Ministry of Finance organise four-day workshop with Ethiopian tax policymakers and administrators

Researchers from the DfID-funded Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the IFS have completed their most recent trip to Ghana’s Ministry of Finance as part of our collaborative research and capacity development programme. During this visit (7th to 11th August), as well as continuing work on costing proposed tax policies in Ghana, TAXDEV researchers and staff at the Tax Policy Unit (TPU) of the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance (MoF) co-organised four days of workshops and meetings with a delegation of Ethiopian tax policymakers and administrators. These were attended by eight key officials from both the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) and the recently established Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC), as well as officials from Ghana’s MoF and Revenue Authority (GRA).

The first two days consisted of joint workshops on policy costing and analysis. David Phillips (Associate Director, IFS) and Ross Warwick (Research Economist, IFS) outlined an approach to policy costing and in a series of presentations, group discussions and exercises applied these to example VAT and corporate income tax policy reforms. The final two days provided an opportunity for peer-to-peer discussions between the Ethiopian and Ghanaian teams on a variety of issues including tax policy and tax policy analysis, management and capacity building, and cooperation between ministries and revenue authorities.

The workshops and meetings were successful in facilitating frank and open conversations about the relative merits of the Ethiopian and Ghanaian tax systems and institutions, and fostering cross-country learning and collaboration.

Researchers from the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and partners from the Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC), the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), and the Tax Policy Unit (TPU) of the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance.

 


Improving tax policy and administration and tax policy-making in Ethiopia

Researchers from the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) are collaborating with the recently established Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on tax policy and administration analysis and capacity building.  The collaboration is funded by the Department for International Development as part of the IFS TAXDEV initiative. 

On Tuesday the 1st August 2017, TAXDEV and the TPD co-organised a one-day workshop with over 40 key stakeholders, including senior officials from the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) and regional tax revenue authorities, to discuss challenges with Value Added Tax (VAT) and Turnover Tax (TOT) policy and administration in Ethiopia. TAXDEV researchers discussed the main principles that should guide the design and administration of a good tax system - and VAT and TOT in particular - as well as relevant international experience around VAT and TOT policy and administration issues. The workshop was fruitful in facilitating and strengthening the collaboration between the TPD, ERCA and other stakeholders. The importance of using high quality administrative and survey data to formulate evidence-based policy options in this tax area was emphasised. The workshop provided a forum for participants to agree on a range of policy and administration challenges in the current VAT and TOT system that need further consideration, and to identify areas for further quantitative modelling.

Birhanu Tadesse (Head of the TPD), Dr. Laura Abramovsky (IFS), and India Keable-Elliott (IFS)Keable-Elliott (IFS) presenting at the TPD

India Keable-Elliott (IFS) presenting at the TPD.

Researchers from the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and partners from the Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC).


TAXDEV research workshop: Business taxation in low- and middle-income countries

News | 30 May 2017

On 25th May 2017 The Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) hosted a research workshop on the taxation of businesses in low- and middle-income countries, attended by academics and policy makers from Europe, North and South America and Africa. Professor Michael Devereux delivered the keynote address, and seven academics presented insights on tax policy and administration, enforcement and compliance from projects across Africa, South America and Asia. In addition to corporate income tax (CIT), there was a focus on VAT, turnover and simplified taxes and withholding taxes. The workshop was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). Please read more about the event here.


A taxing challenge? Analysing and supporting tax policy design in low and middle income countries

Event | 15 March 2017

Low income countries typically raise less than 20% of their GDP from taxation, and this affects their ability to invest in human capital and infrastructure, foster equitable growth and reduce poverty. Domestic revenue mobilisation is gaining prominence in the international debate about economic development, however, and is vital to the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

At an event on 15 March 2017 IFS researchers will introduce TAXDEV’s programme of research and analysis. 

Find out more and sign up to attend


Ghanaian tax officials visit IFS

News | 9 June 2016

As part of a new collaboration on tax policy analysis and capacity building between the IFS, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Ghana Ministry of Finance (MOF), Mr Charles Addae (the Assistant Commissioner for Tax Analysis and Revenue Forecasting at the GRA), Mr Seth Akuffo (Reseacher at the Tax Policy Unit, MOF) and colleagues visited the IFS.

Ghanaian officials visit IFS

Read more about the visit