Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance

In 2012, the first wave of Electronic Fiscal devises (EFDs) was rolled out to 22 000 VAT registered companies all over Tanzania to increase VAT collection. However, both take-up and use of EFDs are lower than expected. Despite the widespread use of EFDs worldwide, there is still limited evidence on what explains their take-up and use. This also applies to Tanzania. At present, we do not have a clear view of the reasons behind the low take-up and usage among businesses that registered and activated an EFD. Beyond the obvious technical problems of connectivity to the network and power outages, how important is for instance collusion between buyers and sellers? What role does (the lack of) information about EFDs play? What about peoples' personal interest in participating in state building and complying with civil obligations? And do administrative challenges within the tax administration affect EFD compliance? This study combines the analysis of administrative data and stakeholder survey data that aim at generating insights on barriers to VAT compliance. These insights will be valuable to policy makers and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) when designing policies and administrative measures to improve compliance. The project is implemented as a joint study between CMI and TRA.