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 domestic taxation of petroleum products is an important source of revenue in most countries. However, there is a wide variation of tax rates on petroleum products across countries, which cannot be explained by economic theory alone. This paper surveys different considerations advanced for taxing petroleum and presents petroleum tax rate data in 120 countries. It concludes that a significant reduction in the present extremely wide variation in petroleum prices and tax rates appears warranted.