Skattepraktik i Afrika söder om Sahara

Tidsperiod: 2017-01-01 till 2019-12-31

Projektledare: Johanna Söderström

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 3 300 000 SEK

Why do citizens pay taxes? This question is surprisingly underexplored. Understanding when citizens pay taxes and why they find it relevant and purposeful is central for answering this question. Tax compliance is a major concern in developing countries and particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, in order to reduce dependency of foreign aid and increase state revenues for providing adequate health, educational and infrastructural services for their populations. In a nutshell, taxes are needed to build capable states that can provide for their citizens. Remarkably, taxation has not figured centrally on the agenda among scholars working on statebuilding in Africa or the African voter. Determinants of willingness to pay taxes in developing countries need to be scrutinized using an insiders’ perspective of what it means to be a tax payer on an everyday basis across different socioeconomic groups. This project expands on current explanations through focusing on the social practice of taxes; when, how and where taxation occurs and how this practice forms part of the everyday for ordinary citizens. This is studied through an ethnographic study of the practices surrounding tax payment in three cases in Sub-Saharan Africa (Lesotho, Tanzania and Zambia), where the willingness to pay taxes and the relative tax burden vary. A comparative micro-study of citizens’ experience with taxes, using interviews and observations, will reveal the room for building a tax paying culture.