Biography

Daisy Ogembo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Oxford University Faculty of Law and a Junior Research Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. She is an adovate of the High Court of Kenya with degrees from Oxford (DPhil, 2019), London (LLM, 2013), and Nairobi ( LLB, 2006). Daisy worked as a litigation lawyer for six years in Kenya's leading law firm, Oraro & Company Advocates, and subsequently commenced a career in academia at Strathmore Law School. She completed a DPhil thesis on the taxation of professionals in Africa, in 2019. She was awarded one of the 53 British Academy-funded three-year Postdoctoral Fellowships in 2019. 

Daisy researches tax law, an inherently inter-disciplinary speciality that draws heavily from scholarly perspectives in constitutional and administrative law, economics, politics, and psychology. Her research interests are in tax law and policy, constitutionalism and taxation, administrative law and taxation, comparative taxation, tax and development, and taxation of the shadow economy and small businesses. A significant part of her research explores the difficulties that tax authorities in lower-income countries in Africa contend with, in discharging their core mandate, and the broader legal, socio-economic, and political contexts upon which their success is contingent.

Publications

Recent additions

  • D Ogembo and V Lehdonvirta, ''Taxing Earnings from the Platform Economy: An EU Digital Single Window for Income Data?'' [2020] 1 British Tax Review 82
    Income earned through gig platforms, letting platforms, and other digital intermediaries presents new challenges for taxation. This article evaluates the efforts of three European Union Member States – Denmark, Estonia, and France – to obtain data on platform users’ earnings directly from platform companies, including Uber, Airbnb, and domestic platforms. The authors furthermore assess the viability of scaling up the national initiatives into an EU-level “Digital Single Window” that would facilitate the automated reporting of income data by platforms, and the forwarding of that data to national tax and social security agencies for taxation and collection according to national rules.
  • D Ogembo, ''Taxation of Self-Employed Professionals in Africa: Three Lessons from a Kenyan Case Study'' (2020) ICTD African Tax Administration Working Paper Series
    We currently know very little about the taxation of professionals in Africa – scholarly work on this group of taxpayers is scant. The little research that does exist is located within the literature on the taxation of the 'hard-to-tax', a term in tax evasion literature that refers to farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and professionals. However, scholarly discourse on the hard-to-tax in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, has focused primarily on farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises. Professionals are rarely critically considered, despite the acknowledgement in the literature that, considering their potential earnings, the absolute amount involved in evasion by professionals in low- and middle-income countries is probably higher than farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises. This paper begins from the premise that it is sensible to begin to focus more seriously on self-employed professionals in the policy and administrative efforts aimed at increasing tax collection from the informal sector in Africa. Proceeding on that premise, the author provides three lessons that we can learn from a Kenyan case study on taxing self-employed professionals in Africa.

Internet Publication (2)

D Ogembo, ''Taxation of Self-Employed Professionals in Africa: Three Lessons from a Kenyan Case Study'' (2020) ICTD African Tax Administration Working Paper Series
We currently know very little about the taxation of professionals in Africa – scholarly work on this group of taxpayers is scant. The little research that does exist is located within the literature on the taxation of the 'hard-to-tax', a term in tax evasion literature that refers to farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and professionals. However, scholarly discourse on the hard-to-tax in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, has focused primarily on farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises. Professionals are rarely critically considered, despite the acknowledgement in the literature that, considering their potential earnings, the absolute amount involved in evasion by professionals in low- and middle-income countries is probably higher than farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises. This paper begins from the premise that it is sensible to begin to focus more seriously on self-employed professionals in the policy and administrative efforts aimed at increasing tax collection from the informal sector in Africa. Proceeding on that premise, the author provides three lessons that we can learn from a Kenyan case study on taxing self-employed professionals in Africa.

Journal Article (3)

D Ogembo and V Lehdonvirta, ''Taxing Earnings from the Platform Economy: An EU Digital Single Window for Income Data?'' [2020] 1 British Tax Review 82
Income earned through gig platforms, letting platforms, and other digital intermediaries presents new challenges for taxation. This article evaluates the efforts of three European Union Member States – Denmark, Estonia, and France – to obtain data on platform users’ earnings directly from platform companies, including Uber, Airbnb, and domestic platforms. The authors furthermore assess the viability of scaling up the national initiatives into an EU-level “Digital Single Window” that would facilitate the automated reporting of income data by platforms, and the forwarding of that data to national tax and social security agencies for taxation and collection according to national rules.
D Ogembo, ''Are Presumptive Taxes a Good Option for Taxing Self-Employed Professionals in Developing Countries?'' (2019) 5 Journal of Tax Administration
The term ‘hard-to-tax’ (HTT), in tax evasion literature, refers to farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and professionals. However, research on the hard-to-tax in low and middle income countries (LMICs) has primarily focussed on farmers and SMEs. Professionals are rarely critically considered, despite the acknowledgement in the literature that, considering their potential earnings, the absolute financial amount involved in evasion among professionals in LMICs is probably higher than among farmers and SMEs. Further, while presumptive tax regimes have been widely used in LMICs to tax SMEs and farmers, professional income is almost always explicitly excluded in the eligibility criteria for these regimes. There is also a gap in the literature on presumptive taxes. Scholarly discourse on these regimes have primarily focussed on their suitability for farmers and SMEs; there is little discourse on their suitability for professional income. The author fills these two gaps by making use of qualitative data on tax evasion by lawyers and dentists in Kenya. The qualitative data suggests that professionals fail to comply because of (i) peer influence, (ii) low levels of financial and tax capability, and (iii) the damaged political legitimacy of the tax authority. This paper makes an original contribution to the literature on the hard-to-tax and presumptive taxation by proposing that although presumptive tax regimes ordinarily explicitly exclude professional income, these regimes can be useful partial solutions for taxing newly qualified, self-employed professionals if they are well-thought-out, meticulously designed and implemented, and rigorously monitored.
D Ogembo, ''The Tax Justice Network-Africa v Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury & 2 others: A Big Win for Tax Justice Activism?'' [2019] 2 British Tax Review 105
The Tax Justice Network-Africa v Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, the Kenya Revenue Authority & the Attorney General concerned the constitutionality of the Double Tax Agreement signed by the Government of Kenya and the Government of Mauritius on 7 May 2012. This current note questions whether the High Court’s decision, voiding the legal notice intended to bring the agreement into effect, connotes a meaningful victory for tax justice activism.

Report (2)

Research projects

Research projects