Taxing the Informal Economy: Policy, Evidence and Lessons for the Future

Mary Osei sells pots at Makola Market
4 April 2023 - 4 April 2023

Date: 4 April, 2023
Time: 9.00 Eastern Time / 15.00 Paris / 15.00 South Africa / 14.00 British Summer Time
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: English only


In the wake of the pandemic, developing and middle-income countries are facing increasing pressures to improve domestic resource mobilization. As many of these countries have large informal economies, increasing the tax contributions of the informal sector has become a popular policy choice. Many of these taxes fall within the category of ‘presumptive taxes’ since the earnings of informal sector workers are not easily identifiable. There are many unanswered questions about presumptive tax regimes and little data: 

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of existing presumptive tax regimes? 
  • What best practice design lessons can be identified?
  • How does the structure of presumptive tax regimes affect informal workers?
  • How do presumptive taxes compare with other taxes and fees paid by informal workers? 

This webinar – co-hosted by the International Centre for Tax and Development, the OECD, the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) and WIEGO – presents the results of two recent studies on presumptive tax regimes and on the tax contributions of informal-sector workers in Accra, Ghana.


  • Mariona Mas Montserrat, Tax Policy Adviser, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration 
  • Max Gallien, Research Fellow, International Centre for Taxation and Development at the Institute for Development Studies 
  • Mike Rogan, Research Associate at WIEGO
  • Bert Brys, Senior Tax Economist and Head of the Country Tax Policy Unit at the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration 
  • Nana Akua Anyidoho, Associate Professor at ISSER and the Director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies, both at the University of Ghana
  • Vanessa van den Boogaard, Research Fellow at the International Centre for Tax and Development at the Institute for Development Studies

The panel discussion will be moderated by Florian Juergens-Grant, Social Protection Project Manager at WIEGO.

Webinar Resources

Photo above: Mary Osei sells pots at Makola Market. Hundreds of market vendors like Mary gather here, selling a variety of wares, goods and services. Together, their commercial activity has contributed to this area as an economic hub and major centre in Accra. Photo credit: Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage
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