Research – Tax system support to developing countries

In 2016, the Dutch government developed the policy aim of ‘Strengthening tax systems in developing countries, particularly in low-income countries and partner countries.’ This objective entails the policies of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance that aim to strengthen tax systems in developing countries.

Strengthening tax systems

There are three sub-goals:

  1. contribute to international agreements on combating tax avoidance
  2. provide technical assistance in developing countries to strengthen their administrative capacity in the area of taxes
  3. reduce the use of the Dutch tax system as a conduit in tax avoidance by multinational corporations

Key question

To what extent are the policies and activities of the Dutch government that contribute to strengthening tax systems in developing countries coherent and relevant, and what was their impact?


The sub-studies for this evaluation are carried out in collaboration with SEO Amsterdam Economics and the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB). The results of the studies by IOB, SEO and CPB will be compiled in one final report.

Literature review

SEO is conducting a literature review to more accurately identify channels of tax avoidance in developing countries.

Country studies

SEO is studying the effect of Dutch policy in three developing countries to combat tax avoidance in these countries through the Netherlands.

Network analysis

CPB is using a network analysis to investigate potential tax revenue losses in developing countries due to treaty shopping via the Netherlands.


Stephanie Bouman
Joep Schenk - contact person


  1. Ready: Exploration
  2. Ready: Terms of Reference adopted
  3. Ready: Research in progress
  4. Ready: Report adopted
  5. Ready: Drafting policy response
  6. Ready: Report to parliament