Senegal is one of the most stable countries in West-Africa and has a population of 14 million. However, 9 million of them live below the multidimensional poverty line, of whom 41% live in extreme poverty.
In 2013 its GDP was estimated at 15 billion USD with an annual growth rate of 4%. In that same year the government debt reached 30% of their GDP. It had an unemployment rate of 10% in 2012.
The tax-to- GDP ratio averaged around 19% between 2010 and 2012. Income tax rates are high (up to 50%) and corporate tax rates are moderate (up to 30%). Indirect taxes have long been the mainstay of Senegal’s tax system, with import duties by far the most important.
On the 1st of January 2013 a new tax code went into effect, which highlights various improvements: development of tax expenditures by eliminating or reducing tax incentives as much as possible, unification of tax legislation in one single code and computerization of the tax return.
Despite government efforts to establish fair taxation policies, research revealed institutional weaknesses, such as a lack of control of the money collected, strained relations between administration and taxpayers and unsuitability of international tax policy. These weaknesses encourage tax evasion and avoidance.
Senegal’s budget is mainly fuelled by fiscal resources whereas non-tax resources are quantitatively and qualitatively low.

CRAFT Country Strategy

In Senegal the CRAFT program mainly aims to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to challenge the authorities and advocate effectively for a pro-poor tax system.
Two sessions between local CSOs and tax experts were held and two panels on the impact of the new general tax code were organized, including a debate on the Senegalese Radio and Television (RTS) on the new general tax code with the Director General of Taxes. A debate on mining taxation was initiated and the President decided to get involved.
Our local partner, Forum Civil, led an advocacy campaign in over 80 branches across Senegal on the topics of community-based tax justice and the National Convention of Women and Youth.

Strategy 2015-2018

Continued monitoring of the tax code’s enforcement and raising citizens’ awareness on the code’s benefits as well as their tax responsibilities is needed, as well as future research to better show tax injustices.
In the coming years training sessions will be organized at different stages with different actors such as parliamentarians, CSOs, private sector, local elected officials and journalists.
Campaigns targeting local communities will be launched to help them mobilize their resources and raise their awareness on tax. Future alliances are sought with the network of parliamentarians, local communities and networks of economic journalists.

Lead Organization

Forum Civil is a civil society association that promotes a comprehensive and participatory democracy in all its dimensions: political, social, economic and cultural.

Fair Tax Monitor

The FTM allows for a comparison of tax policies and practices in different countries, using a standardized methodology and unified research approach thanks to jointly developed common research framework. Click here to see how Senegal did in the Fair Tax Monitor 2016.