Tools And Methods

Role play - understanding tax

Role play - understanding tax

The idea of ‘tax’ is explored through a role play.

Topics should be chosen according to their relevance to the local context, for example:

  • food prices going up in the market because the government removed a consumer tax exemption
  • tax collectors harassing people to pay tax


  1. To introduce the theme of tax by grabbing the attention of the participants with drama.
  2. To get the participants to identify with the theme of tax through their experience of local tax problems.

Steps in the process

  1. A short three-minute role play is performed on a topic relevant to the local context.
  2. Ask participants what they saw and whether something similar happens in their context.
  3. Ask: what is a ‘tax’? After hearing the participants’ comments, explain that a tax is a compulsory contribution of money from people and businesses to the government to help pay for common services such as education and health.
  4. Ask what tax problems, such as the one shown in the role play, exist in the local context. For example, tax corruption, high tax, multiple tax payments, etc. You may want to write them down on a list.
  5. Finally ask – does that mean poorer people/farmers do not have to pay tax? After hearing people’s views, discuss the benefits of paying tax. You may want to write them down on a list.


  • ActionAid's Tax Power Campaign Reflection-Action Toolkit, ActionAid, December 2015.


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