Tax to the people
African countries lose billions of dollars each year due to illicit capital flows related to tax evasion by wealthy individuals and companies. How does illicit capital flows and tax evasion affect ordinary people’s lives? And what does it do to their willingness to pay tax? A new book on capital flows, tax justice and domestic revenue mobilisation in Africa will get to the root of these matters.
Despite the mind-boggling sums that vanish due to illicit capital flows in many African countries, little research has been done on the actual effects this has on people’ lives. CMI’s research project Taxation, Institutions and Participation (TIP) is one of few that investigates the effects of tax havens on domestic revenue systems, institutions and citizen participation in African countries. In cooperation with Tax Justice Network Norway and Mzumbe University in Tanzania, researchers from the TIP-project are now working on a new book dealing with the practical aspects of illicit capital flows and tax evasion in African countries. The book aims to inform the public and the public debate on tax justice in an African context, and to enhance cooperation between actors working on tax issues.
Project leader and senior researcher at CMI, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, recently co-organized a workshop in Dar es Salaam with our partners Mzumbe University and Tax Justice Network Norway to kick-start the work. Input from tax practitioners will be an important guiding line in identifying knowledge gaps and potential topics for articles. Representatives from several civil society organisations working on tax issues in African countries participated. Representatives from academia, tax administrations, and civil society organisations will act as a reference group to make sure that the book is relevant to tax practitioner’s needs.
The book aims for a broad audience ranging from students to journalists and practitioners, and the selection of articles will reflect the target group. Academics, journalists, and practitioners will be invited to contribute with articles on tax justice and the effects of lacking tax justice.