The centre for tax analysis in developing countries

Overseas Development Institue Institue for Fiscal Studies

This document outlines the four areas of research which will inform the development of our “cross-cutting” research agenda.

Firstly, we will examine the extent to which preferential rates of VAT for certain goods and services, consumed disproportionately by poorer households, do actually help poorer households. We will do this by contrasting the costs and distributional effects of the preferential rates with other, more targeted, forms of redistribution.

Secondly, we will investigate the effect of VAT on firms’ compliance with the tax system and on their production decisions, contrasting it with the effect of simplified tax systems. Thus, we will generate evidence on the costs and benefits of operating simplified tax schemes for small firms, and setting relatively high VAT thresholds. We will also generate evidence on the tax gap, and on the efficiency of tax audits at different parts of the production chain.

Thirdly, we plan to explore more broadly the responses of firms to tax policy and administration thresholds. In particular we will estimate the extent to which firms bunch just below such thresholds, and investigate whether such responses reflect changes in reporting/evasion or real business behaviours.

Finally, we will examine issues related to international corporate tax competition, including the effects of special corporate tax regimes.

Published on: 8th July 2016

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