Afghans warned: the taxman is coming after you
KABUL (Reuters) – One of Afghanistan’s most surprising success stories lies tucked away on a potholed street notorious for suicide bombings and lined with rusting construction equipment.
The work of the country’s top tax collector is more inspiring than the view from his office in Kabul. Taxes and customs raised $1.64 billion last financial year, a 14-fold increase on 10 years ago. That means, now, the government can pay just over half of its recurrent costs such as salaries.
Thanks to tougher enforcement procedures, Afghanistan’s tax to GDP ratio today stands above 11 percent – ahead of neighboring Pakistan’s dismal 9 percent.