BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University and International Growth Centre (IGC) jointly organised a dissemination Seminar on “Increasing Tax Compliance through Social Recognition in Bangladesh” by Mushfiq Mobarak, Associate Professor of Yale School of Management, on 5 November 2014, at Meghna of the Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka.

(From Left) Dr. Nasiruddin Ahmed, Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Mr. M A Mannan, MPand Md. Ghulam Hussain at the seminar

Mr. M A Mannan, MP, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning attended as the Guest of Honor and Mr. Md. Ghulam Hussain, Chairman, National Board of Revenue (NBR) attended as Special Guest. Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BIGD and Country Director, IGC Bangladesh chaired the event.

Mr. Mushfiq Mobarak described the overview of the study which rigorously evaluates the impact of these programmes on tax payments. In neighbourhoods, where some firms are complaint, the promise of exposing information about all firms’ tax payment behavior led to a positive response and an increase in tax compliance, especially among firms who had not paid the previous year. In high compliance clusters, firms receiving the peer information treatment were not only more likely to pay, but conditional on paying, paid more than firms not receiving this treatment. Combining these two effects, firms receiving the peer information treatment paid 17% more on average during the study period than other firms.

Mr. Mobarak said, according to the result of the study, social incentives and recognition may be an effective way to improve tax compliance and has led to quantitatively meaningful increase in total revenues. The treatments tested consist of interventions that governments could implement on a large scale which in turn may lead to significant improvement in tax compliance and revenue collection.