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 transition from a command to a market economy requires profound reforms of the tax system. Such a transition will put downward pressures on the level of taxation at a time when public expenditure remains high. This paper outlines the main characteristics of the tax systems in centrally-planned economies. It describes recent changes in those tax systems. Finally, it discusses the major difficulties that will be faced, and the errors that must be avoided, during the transition.