Mandating Digital Tax Tools as a Response to Covid: Evidence from Eswatini
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To reduce physical contact, Covid-19 forced many tax authorities to embrace digital technologies for filing and payment. Pandemic control aside, e-filing and e-payment hold great promise in facilitating taxpayer compliance, increasing transparency and curbing opportunity for collusion (Okunogbe and Santoro 2021). Eswatini mandated e-filing for all income taxpayers in September 2020, through the online e-Tax platform. Subsequently, the tax administration launched a zero-cash-handling policy for tax payments in April 2021. Our paper evaluated the impact of the e-Tax mandate on income taxpayers’ filing and payment behaviour, examining the following questions: (i) What is the impact of mandating e-filing on filing and payment compliance? (ii) Are there any spillover effects on filing and payment accuracy? (iii) What are the key mechanisms that explain the results? Summary of Working Paper 140 by Fabrizio Santoro, Razan Amine and Tanele Magong.