Tax Awareness Campaign

Tax evasion is one of the biggest challenges the current government in Somalia is facing in terms of increasing its revenue, it also hinders the ability of the government to provide basic services to its citizens.

More equitable and increased taxation is critical for both poverty reduction and democratic governance. In order to ensure pro-poor economic growth and essential services, such as education and health for all, developing countries need to raise more taxes in ways that are progressive and effective.

The Capacity for Research and Advocacy for Fair Taxation is an idea this proposal is advancing.  The broader Capacity for Research and Advocacy for Fair Taxation idea is mobilizing civil societies on tax justice, with a view to achieve accountable, fair and pro-poor tax systems.

The overall objective of the Capacity for Research and Advocacy for Fair Taxation is to contribute to more democratic, accountable and responsive Systems by collecting more taxes that are due and using the tax revenues in a more transparent, accountable and redistributive manner.

Under the Capacity for Research and Advocacy for Fair Taxation idea, this proposal has been developed to provide skills for creating civil awareness on strategic tax issues. It will help the users to understand and undertake effective mobilisation, awareness raising and advocacy activities.  

Problem statement

This tax awareness proposal is motivated by low tax compliance and low tax education in Somalia. Findings of several studies and research efforts indicate that tax awareness has a significant relationship with tax compliance behavior and the awareness of tax laws and understanding of tax laws has a positive and significant relationship with tax compliance behavior too.

Efforts for tax education contributes the most towards tax compliance behaviour. Therefore, the policy makers in Somalia should focus on efforts for tax learning, to enhance tax compliance and ultimately mitigate the problem of noncompliance in Somalia.

Objectives of the Awareness Campaign  

By the end of this Campaign participants will be able to:

  1. Mobilize citizens to participate in tax justice activities,
  2. Undertake effective advocacy on tax justice issues, and
  3. Undertake effective public campaigns on tax issues
  4. Participate in the tax system by paying taxes

Expected outcomes

Strategies for Tax Awareness

  • Public meetings and rallies
  • Community meetings
  • Local and national radio / TV broadcasts
  • Newspaper articles
  • Internet blogging and social networking
  • Leaflets and posters
  • Drama and street theatre
  • Newsletters
  • Capacity-building of key actors, i.e. tax alternatives
  • Training, presentations and workshops
  • Seminars.

Steps for the Training Activity

  • Planning for Citizen Mobilization
  • Raising Awareness
  • Building a Coalition
  • Taking Action
  • Monitoring and Evaluating

Scope of the training

The awareness campaign will be carried out in selected locations in Mogadishu- Somalia namely;  ……

Participants

The participants will mainly consist of business people and the general population of Somali people within Mogadishu

Facilitators

The facilitators will be….

Structure and Duration of the Training

The tax awareness campaign will be structured in three (3) sessions, covering a range of areas related to tax. In particular, the content will cover the following topics:

  1. Mobilization and Awareness Raising,
  2. Tax Justice Advocacy, and
  3. Tax Advocacy Activities.
  4. Responsibility of citizens and government in the tax system

Training Methods

All sessions are designed to help trainers or facilitators provide meaningful discussion using a variety of participatory methods. The training component will use the following key features:

Group discussions-

These provide participants with an opportunity to share knowledge, skills and experiences related to the training theme. Participants can discuss key issues as one large group or form small discussion groups and then share their ideas with larger group.

 

Brainstorming sessions –

In brainstorming sessions participants are asked to respond to questions that draw on their knowledge and experience.

Discussion questions –

These are sampling questions that trainers or facilitators can pose to participants to encourage discussion about a key concept. They are used to guide the direction and pace of the dialogue. Presentations – These are brief explanations given by the facilitator/trainer in order to enhance participants understanding about key concepts.

Case studies –

Case studies are examples, based on actual situations used to support key concepts discussed in different sessions. The case studies can be used in several ways:

  1. As a whole group activity: Participants read the case study individually and then discuss the questions as a group.
  2. In small groups: In groups of four or five participants, each group reviews the case study, discusses the questions, and then shares their ideas with the rest of the group.
  3. As a role play: Working in pairs or small groups, participants assume the roles as described in the case study

Key points –

Key points are brief statements to help facilitators emphasize important concepts. These points should be shared with the group. Facilitators are encouraged to restate these ideas in their own words..

Reference Notes –

These are notes used by the trainer/facilitator during the course of training. Reference notes should be provided to all participants at the beginning or after the course is completed for further use by the participants. When implementing the tax justice campaign training program, trainers should consider the following suggestions:

  1. Apply appropriate training techniques based on the participants’ training needs and level of understanding.
  2. Involve participants or other civil society actors to share their experiences and expertise in regards to successful tax advocacy campaigns.

Training Materials

  • Flipcharts
  • Marker, Pens, preferably of different colors or chalk
  • Masking tape
  • Handouts and reference notes
  • Pieces of plain cards (can be manila cards), preferably of different colors and sizes
  • Projector (where possible)

General Preparation

Before the training session, the trainer will have to prepare brief presentations (can be PowerPoint Presentation) and produce handouts based on the material presented under ‘Facilitators Notes ’.

Getting Started

At the beginning of the training course, welcome the participants to the training workshop. Introduce yourself and then lead the participants to introduce themselves (i.e. their names, organizational affiliation and their position and roles in the organizations they work for etc.), reflect on why they are there and identify their expectations. Explain workshop objectives, logistics and rules of conduct.

The latter should include such issues as respect for each participant’s opinion, switching off cell phones, time management and order. Provide each participant with a copy of the workshop programme, review the programme and ask for questions and comments about the workshop programme and purpose. You can allocate 30 minutes for introductory session

Sustainability Plan

Monitoring and Evaluation

It will be important to keep track of activities that are most effective and those that may need to be improved upon to more successfully meet the goals of this tax awareness campaign.

This exercise will begin this phase by:

  • Planning how to track efforts and evaluate progress, based on the strategic plan of action.
  • Determining how to measure which mobilization actions are bringing the greatest return, so as to plan to increase or replicate those and minimize, revise, or modify the ones that are less effective.

Checklist for M&E

  • Determine the type of monitoring and data collection.
  • Develop process (e.g. number of leaflets produced, distributed and the outcome, number of people aware of their tax obligations) measures.
  • Research and secure an evaluation expert if needed.
  • Determine when in the timeline when to carry out monitoring and evaluation activities. (this will be done throughout the awareness campaign – not only at the end)
  • Develop monitoring plans and forms.
  • Keep awareness members involved in the monitoring activities, as their participation in data collection and agreement on the follow-up actions are critical to the success of the tax awareness campaign.

 

Workplan

No Activity Months
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3
1 Public meetings and rallies
2 Community meetings
3 Local and national radio / TV broadcasts
4 Newspaper articles
5 Internet blogging and social networking
6 Leaflets and posters
7 Drama and street theatre
8 Newsletters
9 Capacity-building of key actors, i.e. tax alternatives
10 Training, presentations and workshops
11 Seminars.

 

Budget

No Activity Cost
1 Public meetings and rallies
2 Community meetings
3 Local and national radio / TV broadcasts
4 Newspaper articles
5 Internet blogging and social networking
6 Leaflets and posters
7 Drama and street theatre
8 Newsletters
9 Capacity-building of key actors, i.e. tax alternatives
10 Training, presentations and workshops
11 Seminars.

 

The writer is a Masters level and lecturer 5+ universities in Mogadishu Somalia.
Mr. Amaanreer Isak Mohamed
Amaanreer30@gmail.com