A microsimulation of the Uganda tax system (UGATAX) and the poor from 1999 to 2003
Like most developing countries, Uganda faces serious fiscal challenges in her effort to mobilize and effectively use resources for poverty reduction. however, the tax base remains small as reflected in the low tax-to-GDP. the government is under internal and external pressure to increase its domestic revenue collection and i turn, reduce its dependency on donors. In response to the pressure the government endeavored to maintain fiscal discipline, partly by raising taxes. the consequences of this move on the poor remains unclear. the main purpose of this paper is to throw light on the effects of alternative reforms to existing tax system on those households living in poverty. The analysis was carried out using the nationally representative Uganda national household survey of 1999/00 (UNHS I) using micro-simulation techniques. the key findings emerging from the analysis are: Increasing value added tax (VAT) other taxes unchanged will increase the tax burden of the poor but the non-poor households will continue paying more taxes relative to their expenditures that the poor households; Zero rating of the key taxable consumer items consumed by the poor would have little fiscal consequences. the amount of revenue forgone is less than the graduated tax (head tax) forgone; and the largest portion of the tax burden born by the poor households originates from VAT followed by excise duties and graduated tax.
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NBER Working Papers
6828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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