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Peoples' views of taxation in Africa: A review of research on determinants of tax compliance

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  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad
  • Collette Schulz-Herzenberg
  • Ingrid Hoem Sjursen

Abstract

What are the key determinants of taxpayer compliance? And which features of citizen-state relations govern attitudes and behaviour regarding taxation? This paper examines the analytical foundation, methodological approaches and key findings of available empirical literature on taxpayer behaviour in Africa. Understanding how citizens perceive and experience taxation may provide an essential diagnostic of the political realities for tax reform. Attempts to broaden the tax base require insights into how citizens experience and perceive the tax system, whether people perceive they are paying taxes or not, what they eventually pay, their views on tax administration and enforcement, and whether and how their tax behaviour is correlated with how they perceive the state. Attitude and perception surveys of current and potential taxpayers may also help to identify perceived weaknesses of the tax system, and enable tax authorities to focus attention efficiently on high-risk categories of taxpayers.

Suggested Citation

  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Collette Schulz-Herzenberg & Ingrid Hoem Sjursen, 2012. "Peoples' views of taxation in Africa: A review of research on determinants of tax compliance," CMI Working Papers 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2012-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ali, Merima & Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge & Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem, 2014. "To Pay or Not to Pay? Citizens’ Attitudes Toward Taxation in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 828-842.
    2. Mascagni, Giulia, 2016. "From the Lab to the Field: a Review of Tax Experiments," Working Papers 8967, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    3. Jahnke, Bjoern, 2015. "How does petty corruption affect tax morale in sub-Saharan Africa? An empirical analysis," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-564, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge, 2013. "Taxation and Development : a Review of Donor Support to Strengthen Tax Systems in Developing Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 010, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    Keywords

    Taxation; Tax behaviour; Compliance; Evasion; Fiscal exchange; Surveys;

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