8th International Workshop on Domestic Revenue Mobilization: “Taxation and digitalization“

Event Type

Bonn, 01.10.2019 until 02.10.2019


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Digitalization should be considered a transformative factor for tax systems worldwide. The use of ICT in economic transactions and tax administrations entails the prospect of addressing tax compliance, evasion, and avoidance in new ways. Increased information could also provide new opportunities for tax policy design. Digitalization could lead to a unified database on taxpayers’ income, consumption, and wealth. By conditioning tax schedules on such information, governments can target income redistribution better and in potentially more efficient ways. Digitalization may also ease a more complete integration of tax and social benefit systems.

However, digitalization also poses serious challenges. Tax authorities are faced with new business models, amplifying deeper problems in the current system. Public debate tends to focus on the taxation of big global players such as Google or Amazon, but the digitalized economy is a universal phenomenon that permeates all economic sectors in all countries, and tax systems are struggling to deal with this reality. Digitalization also raises important questions regarding the collection and management of data by public authorities.

Digitalization has the power to lead to a profound reshaping of the fiscal contract between taxpayers and the state, but the process has to be managed wisely in order to generate the desired benefits for society. The potential misuse of vast new amounts of data by government or vulnerabilities to cyberattacks are concerns that could undermine effective international cooperation in tax matters as well as the domestic collection of taxpayer data for tax policy design and implementation. Issues of data protection and rule of law need to be addressed in an open and inclusive manner. As digitalization moves the limits of what governments can and should do, it has to be embedded in broader societal debates on governance and legitimate rule.

As in previous workshops, the aim of this event was to bring together renowned scholars, government officials and other experts to discuss ongoing research in this area and assess its policy implications.

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Event information

Date / h
01.10.2019 until 02.10.2019 / 09:00 - 14:00


Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tulpenfeld 6
53113 Bonn

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