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Shifting Tax Burdens through Exemptions and Evasion: an Empirical Investigation of Uganda

  • Bernard Gauthier
  • Ritva Reinikka

This paper investigates the impacts of tax reforms implemented in Uganda in the mid-1990s on the prevalence of tax evasion and exemptions among firms, and their effects on the distribution and dispersion of tax burdens. Based on firm-level data collected from 243 firms, we observe that evasion and exemptions were widespread and that their prevalence actually increased during tax reforms. We use three-stage least squares to simultaneously estimate tax burdens, evasion and exemption patterns in 1995 and 1997. We find that tax exemptions benefit large businesses to a disproportionate degree, while evasion is more common among small businesses. This creates a situation in which medium-sized firms shoulder a disproportionate tax burden. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 373-398

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:373-398
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  1. John Matovu & Duanjie Chen & Ritva Reinikka-Soininen, 2001. "A Quest for Revenue and Tax Incidence in Uganda," IMF Working Papers 01/24, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Tybout, James, et al, 1997. "Firm-Level Responses to the CFA Devaluation in Cameroon," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(1), pages 3-34, March.
  3. Steel, William F & Webster, Leila M, 1992. "How Small Enterprises in Ghana Have Responded to Adjustment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 423-38, September.
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