Tax Expenditures and Domestic Revenue Mobilisation

Co-organized with the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) as part of DIE’s series of “International Workshops on DRM”.


  • Tax expenditures (TEs) are tax benefits that governments use worldwide to pursue various policy goals such as attracting investment, boosting innovation and fighting poverty. TEs are costly, as they lower government revenue and the tax liability of the beneficiary. The global average of tax revenues forgone over the period 1990-2020 is 3.8% of GDP, or 24.2% of tax revenue. Moreover, TEs are often ineffective in reaching their stated goals, and can be even damaging with regard to equality or sustainability. Yet, the lack of transparency in this area is striking: only 100 out of 218 jurisdictions have reported on TEs at least once since 1990. The quality, regularity and scope of such reports are highly heterogeneous and, in many cases, lag significantly behind minimum standards.

    It is against this background that DIE and CEP have launched the Global Tax Expenditures Database (GTED) in June 2021. The GTED (www.GTED.net) is the first database providing timely and consistent information on TEs on a global scale. It is based on official information published by national governments worldwide from 1990 onwards.

    ATI acknowledges the relevance this topic holds for member countries and the international community in general. TEs have a significant impact on countries’ ability to foster domestic revenue mobilisation (DRM) and, ultimately, attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They often endanger the transparency of national budgets and policies if not monitored closely and assessed consistently.

    Against this background, this joint DIE-ATI-CEP workshop brought together scholars, government officials, representatives from international organizations and other experts to discuss ongoing research and initiatives and assess the policy implications of tax expenditures.

  • Tuesday, 9 November, 2021
    13.00-14.00Welcome
    Christian von Haldenwang (DIE)
    Hira Nazir (ATI)


    Introduction to the Workshop
    Christian von Haldenwang (DIE)

    Opening Address
    Sanjeev Gupta (Center for Global Development)
    14.15-16.00Panel 1: Tax Expenditures and Development
    Chair: Anca-Maria Szigeti (ATI)

    Tax Expenditures and Development – Preliminary Findings from the GTED
    Christian von Haldenwang (DIE) / Sabine Laudage (DIE) / Agustín Redonda (CEP) / Flurim Aliu (CEP)
    Slides here.

    Trends and Patterns of Tax Expenditures on Union Taxes in India
    Sacchidananda Mukherjee (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, India)

    Practical Challenges and Lessons Learnt from TE Reporting in Rwanda & Uganda
    Hazel Granger (ODI)/ Kyle McNabb (ODI)/ Harshil Parekh (ODI)/ Solomon Rukundo (Uganda Revenue Authority)

    Discussant: Jakob Schwab (DIE)
    Wednesday, 10 November, 2021
    13.00-13.05Welcome to Day 2
    Agustin Redonda (CEP)
    13.05-14.35Panel 2: Challenges to Tax Expenditure Reform: Country-level Experiences
    Chair: Wapinu A. Ndule (WATAF)

    Ethiopia: Main barriers for the Estimation and Reporting of Tax Expenditures
    Habtamu Alamayo Farada (Ministry of Finance, Ethiopia)

    Madagascar: De L’évaluation aux Enjeux des Dépenses Fiscales
    Tantely Ravelomanana (Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, Madagascar)

    North Macedonia: Tax Expenditure Report
    Jordan Simonov / Zoran Gligorov (Ministry of Finance, North Macedonia)

    Discussant 1: Agustin Redonda (CEP)
    Discussant 2: Luisa Dressler (OECD)
    14.45-16.00Panel 3: Challenges to Tax Expenditure Reform: Regional Perspectives
    Chair: Stefanie Rauscher (International Tax Compact)

    ADB Support on Tax Expenditure reform
    Yuji Miyaki (Asian Development Bank, Philippines)

    Coordination, Evidence and Accountability: Reforming the Governance of Tax Expenditures in Latin America
    Paolo di Renzio (International Budget Partnership, Brazil)

    Global Tax Reform and Tax Expenditures: A Prospective Analysis
    Seydou Coulibaly (African Development Bank, Côte d’Ivoire)

    Discussant: Amina Ebrahim (UNU-WIDER)
    Thursday, 11 November, 2021
    13.00-13.05Welcome to Day 3
    Taís Chartouni Rodrigues (International Tax Compact)
    13.05-14.45Panel 4: Tax Competition and International Tax Reform
    Chair: Alistair Lobo (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK)

    The International Tax Reform Agenda and its Implications on the Future of Tax Incentives
    Suranjali Tandon (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, India)

    The Worst Form of Tax Incentives: CIT Exemptions
    Grégoire Rota-Graziosi / Alou Adesse Dama / Fayçal Sawadogo (Université Clermont Auvergne, CERDI, France)

    Growth Effects of Tax-Incentivized FDI
    Sabine Laudage (DIE)/ Jakob Schwab (DIE)

    Tax Expenditures in West Africa: the Need for a Regional Evaluation
    Jean-François Brun / Gérard Chambas / Jules Tapsoba (Université Clermont Auvergne, CERDI, France)

    Discussant 1: Kyle McNabb (ODI)
    Discussant 2: Ashima Neb (Platform for Collaboration on Tax)
    14.50-15.50Roundtable: Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform

    Moderator:
    Nana Ama Sarfo (Tax Notes)

    Participants:
    Juvy Danofrata (Director, DoF of the Philippines)
    Santiago Díaz de Sarralde (CIAT, NTO)
    Liselott Kana (Chile Servicio de Impuestos Internos, UN Tax Committee)
    Agustín Redonda (CEP)
    Steve Rozner (USAID)
    15.50-16.00Closing Remarks

    Sebastiaan Wijsman (ATI)
    Christian von Haldenwang (DIE)