The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper provides empirical evidence on collection lags in major categories of government revenue and analyzes the estimated revenue-eroding effects of inflation within the standard model of inflationary finance. The evidence indicates a wide variation in collection lags among the categories of revenues. The estimated erosion of real fiscal revenue, although varied in the sample countries, appears to have substantially offset gains from the inflation tax, thereby severely restricting the use of this form of taxation in generating resources.