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Shifting tax burdens through exemptions and evasion - an empirical investigation of Uganda

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  • Gauthier, Bernard
  • Reinikka, Ritva

Abstract

The authors look at how prevalent tax exemptions, and evasion are among businesses in Uganda, how they translate into actual tax burdens for firms of different sizes, and how the tax administration attempts to ensure compliance. Despite tax reforms undertaken in 1995-97 to increase the efficiency, and equity of the tax system, and its administration, exemptions, and evasion during this three-year period remained widespread, and the dispersion of the tax burden did not decrease. The analysis shows that tax evasion is more prevalent among smaller firms, that taxexemptions are more common among larger firms, and that medium-size firms tend to shoulder a disproportionate share of the total tax burden.

Suggested Citation

  • Gauthier, Bernard & Reinikka, Ritva, 2001. "Shifting tax burdens through exemptions and evasion - an empirical investigation of Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2735, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2735
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John J 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. 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 423-438, September.
    3. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Gauthier & Jonathan Goyette, 2016. "Fiscal policy and corruption," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(1), pages 57-79, January.
    2. repec:zbw:ifwkie:3715 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jonathan Goyette, 2012. "Optimal tax threshold: the consequences on efficiency of official vs. effective enforcement," Cahiers de recherche 12-07, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    4. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2005. "Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda," CMI Working Papers WP 2005: 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    5. Goyette, Jonathan & Gallipoli, Giovanni, 2015. "Distortions, efficiency and the size distribution of firms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 202-221.
    6. E. EHRHART & Alexandru MINEA & Patrick VILLIEU, 2009. "Deficits, Seignorage and the Growth Laffer Curve in Developing Countries," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 118, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    7. Pieroni, Luca & d'Agostino, Giorgio & Bartolucci, Francesco, 2013. "Identifying corruption through latent class models: evidence from transition economies," MPRA Paper 43981, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Léonce Ndikumana, 2006. "Corruption and Pro-Poor Growth Outcomes: Evidence and Lessons for African Countries," Working Papers wp120, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    9. Matovu, John Mary & Twimukye, Evarist P. & Nabiddo, Winnie & Guloba, Madina, 2009. "Impact of Tax Reforms on Household Welfare," Research Series 54801, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
    10. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2006. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds in Developing Countries: An Application to 38 African Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 6007, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Kappel, Robert & Lay, Jann & Steiner, Susan, 2004. "The Missing Links - Uganda's Economic Reforms and Pro-Poor Growth," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3840, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Bernard Gauthier & Jean-Paul Azam & Jonathan Goyette, 2004. "The Effect of Fiscal Policy and Corruption Control Mechanisms on Firm Growth and Social Welfare: Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de recherche 04-10, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    13. Matthews, Alan & Claquin, Pierre & Opolot, Jacob, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Uganda," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48549, World Bank.
    14. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2012. "The marginal cost of public funds and tax reform in Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 58-72.
    15. Kappel, Robert & Lay, Jann & Steiner, Susan, 2005. "Uganda: No more pro-poor growth?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 31, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    16. Clara Delavallade, 2012. "What Drives Corruption? Evidence from North African Firms," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(4), pages 499-547, August.
    17. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 2014. "Thresholds, informality, and partitions of compliance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 536-559, August.
    18. Michael Keen, 2012. "Taxation and Development; Again," IMF Working Papers 12/220, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Warlters, Michael & Auriol, Emmanuelle, 2005. "The marginal cost of public funds in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3679, The World Bank.
    20. Bruhn, Miriam & Loeprick, Jan, 2014. "Small business tax policy, informality, and tax evasion -- evidence from Georgia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7010, The World Bank.
    21. Kenyon, Thomas, 2008. "Tax Evasion, Disclosure, and Participation in Financial Markets: Evidence from Brazilian Firms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2512-2525, November.
    22. Marco Carreras & Purnachandar Dachapalli & Giulia Mascagni, 2017. "Effective corporate tax burden and firm size in South Africa: A firm-level analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 162, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    23. Luisito Bertinelli & Arnaud Bourgain & Abdoul Karim Diamoutene, University of Social Sciences and Management of Bamako, Mali , 2017. "Corporate Effective Tax Rate in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Formal Companies of Mali," CREA Discussion Paper Series 17-18, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    24. Bernard Gauthier & Jonathan Goyette, 2012. "Taxes and bribery: The role of monitoring, bargaining power and red tape," Cahiers de recherche 12-08, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.

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