Initiatives

Tax Equity

When tax policies are fair and transparent, and the revenue reaped benefits the many rather than favoring a few, tax equity is the result. Sadly, this equity does not exist in many countries where we work. To help right this injustice, IBP established a tax equity initiative with a focus on helping civil society build ties with diverse actors to influence domestic tax reform.

Championing Equity:
a Call for Fair Taxation

About Tax Equity

Many countries, especially those with low incomes, are struggling with the triple challenge of spiraling debt, massive recovery needs and widening inequities. Promoting tax systems that are fair and equitable will help countries to mobilize revenue and provide better services for all people.

Regular citizens have historically played a very limited role in the formulation of tax policies. Decision-making about taxes has been shielded from public scrutiny, negotiated among a small group of policymakers and elite actors, including rich and influential individuals and businesses. This is starting to change as more groups around the world employ effective strategies to make tax systems more fair and equitable. We have documented these new approaches and are growing a movement of partners to advance good practices and forge coalitions to promote tax systems where everyone pays their share and governments have more revenue to provide services to everyday people. In 2020, we joined the Addis Tax Initiative, a partnership endorsed by more than 40 governments and other stakeholders to mobilize domestic revenue. We especially resonate with its 2025 Declaration that revenues should be raised in a way that advances equity and that legislators, media and civil society play a critical role in these efforts.
To date, we have:
  • Selected two pilot countries, Senegal and Nigeria and started working with key civic actors in each country to build a framework for advocacy. We will expand our regional work in Africa to four countries.
  • Provided 10 partners across Latin America with capacity building, research and advocacy support, peer learning and links to local actors and events.The Latin America Tax Expenditure Research, Advocacy, and Learning (LATERAL) project has energized a regional community of civil society groups that learn from and help each other improve research, advocacy, and communication around tax issues.
  • Built a knowledge bank of successful civic tax campaigns, gauged the scope of grassroots engagement in tax reform, and highlighted areas where more work is needed.
  • Compiled a set of seven case studies and a synthesis paper that highlight effective tax reform strategies and lessons learned.
Key Impacts

$548B

Our longstanding Mexican partner FUNDAR advocated against lopsided tax amnesties for the rich and for transparency in federal tax policies. By 2020, the list of who received $548 billion pesos in tax amnesty was finally released to the public. The outcry led to a constitutional reform prohibiting tax amnesties.

10

The number of partners we work with to promote tax equity in Latin America.

171

The number of organizations we mapped that are part of an emerging field of civil society engagement with domestic tax issues.

66

The number of countries in which civil society is engaged in domestic tax issues

Where We Work in this Area

The Smallholder Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) joined forces with IBP in 2018 to marry budget analysis expertise with organizational strength to improve the lives of women farmers.

Nigeria

In Nigeria, we fostered powerful coalitions to support a nationwide movement of women farmers and community health advocates to demand accountable delivery of services.
Astou Mbengue, lead data collector for the Senegalese Federation of Inhabitants (FSH), is working to improve living conditions in informal settlements.

Senegal

In Senegal, we work with social movements and coalitions of excluded communities to demand improved services for sanitation, flood-response, climate change and primary healthcare.

Is it right that 50% of the Mexican population live in poverty and has access to only 3.5 pesos out of 100? Our tax system is being used to give more benefits to the people and companies that have the most.

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