Revenue Authorities: Are They the Right Vehicle for Improved Tax Administration

Charles Devas, Michael Hubbard, Simon De Lay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


It is now well recognised that reforms to tax administration are as important as tax policy changes for overall fiscal reform. One institutional model of tax administration, which has been quite widely adopted in Africa in recent years, is that of the semi-independent Revenue Authority. This approach is based on the executive agency model, widely adopted in the UK and elsewhere, as a way of improving performance of certain governmental functions. This article looks at the arguments for and against the Revenue Authority model, and examines a number of practical issues in the design of such an agency. It draws on the recent experience of Revenue Authorities in a number of countries. It concludes that the Revenue Authority model can offer an appropriate institutional framework for reforming tax administration, particular where low pay rates and rigid civil service systems inhibit effective management. However, Revenue Authorities do not solve all problems, and can only be expected to deliver results if they form part of a wider reform. Copyright (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jan 2001
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001


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