Record turnout in tax expenditures workshop

From 9 to 11 November, DIE held its 9th International Workshop on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in Developing Countries.

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) organised this year’s event jointly with the Swiss think tank Council on Economic Policies (CEP) und the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI). The main theme of the workshop was tax expenditures.

Tax expenditures are tax benefits that governments use worldwide to pursue various policy goals such as attracting investment, boosting innovation and fighting poverty. They are costly, as they lower government revenue and the tax liability of the beneficiary. The global average of tax revenues forgone over the period 1990-2020 is 24.2 per cent of tax revenue. Moreover, tax expenditures are often ineffective in reaching their stated goals, and can be even damaging with regard to equality or sustainability.

The virtual event brought more than 100 experts together – a record participation for this DIE workshop series. Many government representatives from ATI member countries were particularly interested in learning from experiences with the estimation of revenue forgone and the creation of public tax expenditure reports. The Global Tax Expenditures Database, launched by DIE and CEP in June 2021 was frequently mentioned as a pivotal source of information for public debate and academic research.

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