Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #861

The Impact of Internet Penetration on Corporate Income Tax Filing in South Africa

by Collen Lediga

RUB, 07/2020, 16 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-998-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788998



Tax administrations around the world have introduced e-filing of tax returns due to its potential to improve tax return filing compliance. The introduction of this service for businesses in South Africa has not yielded the expected results. Drawing on tax administrative data on tax return filing and population census data, the study aims at determining whether internet access in the country, could have contributed to the less impact of the introduced administrative intervention. Accounting for specific characteristics of the areas in the country, and geoclassication (urban or rural area), we find that an increase in the fraction of household areas with internet access by 10 percentage points, raises the fraction of businesses that do submit a tax return by 1.86 percentage points. The results of the analysis highlights that the impact of the introduction of e-filing services for tax returns submission, is dependent on the internet coverage of the area.

JEL-Classification: H2, H7

Keywords: Corporate taxation; e-filing; less developed countries; tax administration