About the IFS

The Institute for Fiscal Studies was founded in 1969. Established as an independent research institute, IFS was launched with the principal aim of better informing public debate on economics in order to promote the development of effective fiscal policy. Through the establishment of rigorous independent research, for example the IFS Green Budget and Post Budget analysis, IFS successfully opened up debate about public policy to a wider audience and influenced policy decision making.

Today, IFS is Britain’s leading independent microeconomic research institute. Its research remit is one of the broadest in public policy analysis, covering subjects from tax and benefits to education policy, from labour supply to corporate taxation. Our research not only has an impact on policy makers, think tanks and practitioners, it has also gained a worldwide reputation for academic rigour, and contributes to the development of academic scholarship. We communicate our research widely on a national and international scale, providing independent advice to policy makers in the UK, Europe and in developing countries; collaborating with world renowned academics on new economic theories and techniques; and disseminating our research globally through the press, media and the web.

IFS is host to the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy which analyses fiscal policy to determine its effects on households and companies. The Centre’s work covers the full extent of policy impact, investigating the ways in which policies influence human capital investments, work and occupational choice, firm behaviour, saving and retirement decisions, consumer choices and the public finances.

Announcements

TAXDEV and Ghana’s Ministry of Finance organise four-day workshop with Ethiopian tax policymakers and administrators

Researchers from the DfID-funded Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the IFS have completed their most recent trip to Ghana’s Ministry of Finance as part of our collaborative research and capacity development programme. During this visit (7th to 11th August), as well as continuing work on costing proposed tax policies in Ghana, TAXDEV researchers and staff at the Tax Policy Unit (TPU) of the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance (MoF) co-organised four days of workshops and meetings with a delegation of Ethiopian tax policymakers and administrators. These were attended by eight key officials from both the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) and the recently established Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC), as well as officials from Ghana’s MoF and Revenue Authority (GRA).

The first two days consisted of joint workshops on policy costing and analysis. David Phillips (Associate Director, IFS) and Ross Warwick (Research Economist, IFS) outlined an approach to policy costing and in a series of presentations, group discussions and exercises applied these to example VAT and corporate income tax policy reforms. The final two days provided an opportunity for peer-to-peer discussions between the Ethiopian and Ghanaian teams on a variety of issues including tax policy and tax policy analysis, management and capacity building, and cooperation between ministries and revenue authorities.

The workshops and meetings were successful in facilitating frank and open conversations about the relative merits of the Ethiopian and Ghanaian tax systems and institutions, and fostering cross-country learning and collaboration.

Researchers from the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and partners from the Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC), the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), and the Tax Policy Unit (TPU) of the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance.

 

  

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Improving tax policy and administration and tax policy-making in Ethiopia

Researchers from the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) are collaborating with the recently established Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on tax policy and administration analysis and capacity building.  The collaboration is funded by the Department for International Development as part of the IFS TAXDEV initiative.

On Tuesday the 1st August 2017, TAXDEV and the TPD co-organised a one-day workshop with over 40 key stakeholders, including senior officials from the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) and regional tax revenue authorities, to discuss challenges with Value Added Tax (VAT) and Turnover Tax (TOT) policy and administration in Ethiopia. TAXDEV researchers discussed the main principles that should guide the design and administration of a good tax system - and VAT and TOT in particular - as well as relevant international experience around VAT and TOT policy and administration issues. The workshop was fruitful in facilitating and strengthening the collaboration between the TPD, ERCA and other stakeholders. The importance of using high quality administrative and survey data to formulate evidence-based policy options in this tax area was emphasised. The workshop provided a forum for participants to agree on a range of policy and administration challenges in the current VAT and TOT system that need further consideration, and to identify areas for further quantitative modelling.

Birhanu Tadesse (Head of the TPD), Dr. Laura Abramovsky (IFS), and India Keable-Elliott (IFS).

India Keable-Elliott (IFS) presenting at the TPD.

Researchers from the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV) at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and partners from the Tax Policy Directorate (TPD) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC).

 

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IFS director, Paul Johnson, on BBC Radio 4 Analysis Programme discussing the impact of minimum wages

Paul Johnson presented a BBC Radio 4 Analysis Programme discussing the impact of minimum wages. Listen to the programme here.

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