Key Issues in Natural Resource Taxation and Revenue Management in the Commonwealth

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Public policies in taxation and revenue management are key to ensuring natural resource wealth results in economic development. Tax policy and systems should ensure that whenever natural resources are extracted, the host state receives a fair share of revenue. Revenue management policies are required to ensure that government revenues from natural resources are wisely used to finance sustainable economic development.

This Economic Paper analyses key issues in natural resource taxation and revenue management and recommends policies that can improve countries’ economic performance. The discussion draws on economic theory, empirical evidence and the work of the Commonwealth Secretariat.




Many Commonwealth member countries rely on revenues from natural resources. Indeed there are 11 developing Commonwealth member countries where natural resource revenue accounted for more than 20 per cent of exports or 20 per cent of government revenue between 2004 and 2013. In these countries, natural resource revenues normally exceeded receipts from overseas development assistance (ODA) and overseas remittances. Ensuring that public policies transform natural resource wealth into sustained economic development is thus of paramount importance to the Commonwealth.


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