Tahir Mahmutefendic was born in Tuzla, Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1959 his family moved to Sarajevo, where he finished his education in 1978, gaining a first class honours from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Sarajevo, where he subsequently worked as a lecturer in Political Economics and Finance. In 1987 he earned a Master of Philosophy degree in International Economics from Belgrade University and in 1996 a PhD degree from the same university.
Tahir Mahmutefendic published 13 books and tens of articles and book reviews. Currently he is a professor of Economics at Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.
Tahir Mahmutefendic was a youth chess champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1975 and is a Bosnian chess master. He speaks eight languages.