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Mr. Alun H. Thomas and Mr. Juan P Trevino
High natural resource prices in recent years have resulted in sizeable increases in fiscal revenue for many resource-exporting countries in sub-Saharan Africa. However, this revenue source is volatile, and arguably these countries should also rely on other forms of taxation to help fund public expenditure. This paper asks whether the availability of higher resource revenue in these countries has led to lower taxation effort of other revenue categories. The question is analyzed both in terms of the relationship between non-resource tax revenue and resource revenue, and between non-resource tax revenue and statutory tax rates. The paper finds evidence suggesting that nonresource revenue is negatively influenced by a higher resource revenue-to-GDP ratio. The lower take up of nonresource taxes in resource-rich countries is correlated with higher levels of corruption in these countries, suggesting weaker institutions affect nonresource revenue through incentives for tax evasion and/or large tax exemptions as argued in the literature.
Mario Mansour and Mr. Michael Keen
This paper evaluates the nature and extent of, and possible responses to, two of the central challenges that globalization poses for revenue mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): from corporate tax competition, and from trade liberalization. It does so using a new dataset with features needed to meaningfully address these issues: a distinction between resourcerelated and other revenues, and a disentangling of tariff from commodity tax revenue. Countries' experiences vary quite widely, nonresource revenues have been essentially stagnant. Corporate tax revenues have held up, despite a reduction in rates and evidence of substantial base-narrowing-something of a puzzle-and trade tax revenue reductions have been largely offset by other measures. Options for dealing with the continuation and intensification of the challenges, which the present crisis is likely to accelerate-including through regional cooperation-are discussed.