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Schuman Centre’s Seminar Series: Teach to Comply? Evidence from a Taxpayer Education Programme in Rwanda

Dates:
  • Wed 27 Nov 2019 16.30 - 18.30
  Add to Calendar 2019-11-27 16:30 2019-11-27 18:30 Europe/Paris Schuman Centre’s Seminar Series: Teach to Comply? Evidence from a Taxpayer Education Programme in Rwanda

The role of taxpayer education in improving tax compliance has been largely unexplored in the literature. This paper starts to fill this gap by providing the first rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of taxpayer education on knowledge, perceptions, and compliance, which took place in Rwanda. Our analysis is based on a unique dataset that combines administrative and survey data. We show that taxpayer education results in significant and large increases in knowledge, which starts from a very low level at baseline, and that it contributes to improving compliance behaviour. Our strongest result is that training new taxpayers helps bring them into the habit of filing tax declarations – an obligation many fail to comply with. In terms of policy, our results show that the benefits of taxpayer education go beyond increased revenue in the short term, and include building a habit of tax compliance.

Giulia Mascagni is Research Director at the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), and Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia

The role of taxpayer education in improving tax compliance has been largely unexplored in the literature. This paper starts to fill this gap by providing the first rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of taxpayer education on knowledge, perceptions, and compliance, which took place in Rwanda. Our analysis is based on a unique dataset that combines administrative and survey data. We show that taxpayer education results in significant and large increases in knowledge, which starts from a very low level at baseline, and that it contributes to improving compliance behaviour. Our strongest result is that training new taxpayers helps bring them into the habit of filing tax declarations – an obligation many fail to comply with. In terms of policy, our results show that the benefits of taxpayer education go beyond increased revenue in the short term, and include building a habit of tax compliance.

Giulia Mascagni is Research Director at the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), and Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).


Location:
Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia

Affiliation:
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Type:
Seminar series
 
 

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