The centre for tax analysis in developing countries

Overseas Development Institue Institue for Fiscal Studies

LATAX is a multi-country flexible tax micro-simulation model which was developed by researchers at the IFS for the analysis of VAT, excise duties, income tax and social security contributions, as well as (non means-tested) price subsidies. It is designed to be a simple public tool for micro-analyses of future or counterfactual tax reforms in Mexico, El Salvador, and potentially other countries. LATAX can quantify the revenue and distributional impact of tax reforms under both the assumption that individuals do not change their behavior as a consequence of changes in taxes, and the assumption that individuals react to these changes along specific margins.

LATAX is a user-friendly simulator program designed so that users do not need to edit the main program code but can instead make changes in i) tax system parameters and ii) estimate accounting for behavioral impacts on households income/expenditure. Based on the available data and the user-defined tax parameters, the program produces indirect tax payments, the direct tax base, and direct tax payments before calculating the revenue effects of the reforms and the impact of the tax changes across the income / expenditure distributions and by household types. Full details of the simulator program can be found in the background papers by Abramovsky et al (2010, 2011 and 2012).

LATAX is based on IFS micro-simulation model for Mexico (MEXTAX). LATAX draws both upon IFS experts’ experience in analyzing tax and benefit reforms in the UK, and on the experience and methods used by other researchers in Mexico and other Latin American countries. MEXTAX is now included/built-in in LATAX.


The LATAX micro-simulation software written in Stata (from now on the “software”) is supplied “as is” and all use is at your own risk. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, the author of, and owner of the intellectual property in the software, disclaims all warranties of any kind, either express or implied, as to the software, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability or non-infringement of proprietary rights.

Neither this agreement nor any documentation furnished under it is intended to express or imply any warranty that the operation of the software will be uninterrupted, timely, or error‐free.

Under no circumstances shall the Institute for Fiscal Studies be liable to any user for direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damages or losses of any kind, arising from or relating to this agreement, the software, or user’s use or misuse of the software. Such limitation of liability shall apply whether the damages arise from the use or misuse of the software (including such damages incurred by third parties), or errors of the software.

The original software remains the intellectual property of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and is made freely available for non-commercial use only. The Institute for Fiscal Studies retains sole rights to commercial use of the software and does not authorise commercial users to edit, adapt or add to the software. Non-commercial users are authorised to edit, adapt and add to the original software in order to make changes to its functionalities. However, all of the above disclaimers for liability and any warranties of any kind, apply with respect to such derivative (edited, adapted or expanded) versions of the software.

By using this software, the user agrees with, and undertakes to abide by, the above terms and conditions.

Download the LATAX software

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