The Everyday Politics of Sudan's Tax System: Identifying Prospects for Reform

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Authors: Matthew Benson and Muzan Alneel with contributions from Raga Makawi

This report highlights the gap between de jure and de facto practices that govern tax policy in Sudan to reveal the everyday politics of taxation for most Sudanese citizens and tax collectors. This paper’s analysis reviews the legislation that governs Sudan’s revenue system, supplemented with interviews with civil servants, and presents an overview of findings from approximately 300 interviews with tax collectors and taxpayers.

This integrated analysis of Sudan’s subnational revenue system reveals that decades of revenue centralisation in Khartoum and the Hamdi Triangle has inadvertently supported a variety of formal and informal sub-elites that present threats to and opportunities for reform, which revenue initiatives and local governance reforms have as yet failed to acknowledge or address.

Policy recommendations are provided in an executive summary.