Building up efficient and fair tax systems – lessons from Uganda

This project analyses administrative tax data in Uganda to provide knowledge for better policy-making with respect to mobilizing public revenue for inclusive economic development.

The project aims to conduct new, policy-relevant research based on the empirical analysis of administrative tax data in partnership with the Uganda Revenue Authority. The research outputs of the programme are intended to assist policymakers as they develop and implement policy tools to improve development prospects in their country. An important additional goal of the programme is to build institutional and individual capacity to use administrative data for ongoing economic research and policy calibration.

UNU-WIDER collaborates with the research division of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), where administrative data, obtained directly from URA’s e-filing systems, can be accessed for research purposes. This work was initiated first in 2018, with financial support from The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 2018-19.

This work forms a sub-component of the project Building up efficient and fair tax systems – lessons based on administrative tax data.

Key questions
  • Do tax administrative reforms improve tax compliance and revenue collected from small businesses?
  • How have wage-earners and individual business owners responded to the personal income tax reform? How did this reform influence tax revenues?
  • How much taxes do domestic firms versus multinationals actually pay and can we estimate the extent of international profit shifting?
  • What are reliable estimates of tax elasticities in Uganda and how can we use these to estimate optimal rates of taxation?
  • What is the incidence of various tax and spending policies and are the distributive consequences equitable?