Shaping the tax agenda: Public engagement, lobbying and tax reform in Tanzania
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Original versionBergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 14 no. 5) 4 p.
Tax reforms are no longer the exclusive domain of the International Monetary Fund, external experts, and the Ministry of Finance. Increasingly, interest groups across Africa shape the tax agenda. Business associations and other lobbying groups join in alliance with multinational companies to get tax exemptions even though they admit that tax incentives are not of major importance for their decision to invest or not.A high occurrence of tax exemptions reduces the tax base, creates room for bribery and corruption, and increases loopholes for tax avoidance. This brief explores the intensified public engagement in Value Added Tax (VAT) reform in Tanzania and suggests ways to develop a more effective and transparent public-private dialogue essential to ensure taxpayers’ trust in the tax system.