Project Leader:  Dr. Parthasarathi Shome
Research Team: 

November 2011

Commencement:  November 2011
Completion: October 2013
Funded by:  Prosperity Fund, UK

In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2011, India ranked low in the category of ease of doing business. Ease of paying taxes is one area that most countries have striven to reform in the recent past to improve their ranking. A transparent and efficient tax-paying system ensures that the costs of paying the relevant business taxes are as low as possible helping to make the businesses more competitive. For individuals who are salaried and pay taxes, the businesses have to take care of the costs of compliance with tax policies. Some of the costs that the businesses have to incur in order to comply with tax policies range from the costs of collecting information, generating and maintaining accounts, and ensuring remittance and receipt by the authorities. The authorities, in their effort to close the tax gap between the revenue potential and what is actually collected, often resort to administrative policies that are detrimental for businesses. It is, therefore, necessary that the tax administration works in such a way that it facilitates taxpayers to comply with their tax liabilities.

The project attempts to study how revenue authorities around the world are seeking ways to make their tax administrations more effective and efficient and to see how those methods can be adopted in India. It includes a process of intensive dialogue with different stakeholders such as tax administrators, tax practitioners, private businesses and tax advisors. The findings will be collated in the form of technical papers. A series of analytical research papers will also be commissioned. On the basis of these, the study will make recommendations regarding modern practices and the use of modern technology to facilitate taxpayer services, data warehousing, and tax data analysis for making the Indian tax administration system more effective and efficient.