Final Event in Nepal: Success of the Workshop Series on Tax Expenditures

Tax expenditures (also called tax incentives, tax breaks or tax reliefs) can be a huge drain on public revenues. It is thus important to make information on the use of those mechanisms publicly available, so that stakeholders can engage in public debate about their costs and benefits.

Photo: Participants of the workshop, about 50 diverse people posing in front of and on large stairs.


Over the past two years, IDOS has partnered with the Council on Economic Policies (CEP, Zurich) and the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) to organise a total of six regional workshops on tax expenditures in Africa and Asia. The last of these workshops took place in Kathmandu from 7-9 May 2024 and was attended by delegations from ten Asian countries. Hosted by the Nepalese Inland Revenue Department (IRD), the workshop was characterised by a strong focus on practical exercises and peer-to-peer exchange, reaching out to ministries of finance, revenue authorities and parliaments. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acted as regional co-hosts of the event.

The workshop series has been “an astounding success”, finds Alistair Lobo (FCDO), member of the ATI Steering Committee. Indeed, several ATI member countries have started reporting on tax expenditures as a result of the inputs received and discussions held at the workshops.

While the workshop series has come to an end, IDOS’s cooperation with CEP and the ATI will continue. “We are working to ensure that the networks endure, and that further support is available”, says Alistair Lobo. “This will mean countries that wish to build on this momentum, to make a step change on such an important issue, are assisted to do so.” And Dr Christian von Haldenwang, project lead on tax expenditures at IDOS observes: “Over the coming months we will engage in research and policy advice in countries as diverse as Colombia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Indonesia, partnering with CEP, but also with Université Clermont Auvergne (France) in our project on “Tax Expenditures and the Fiscal Contract” (TEFISCON)”.

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