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.
This paper provides an overview of the key economic factors that shape tax policy reform in many high-income countries, developing countries, and/or transition economies. The paper describes and evaluates global and regional developments with respect to tax rates and revenue ratios over the last some 20 years, and discusses selected structural reform initiatives that have been high on the policy agenda over this period. In particular, it focuses on developments relating to experiments with the restructuring of corporate tax, the impact of corporate taxes on FDI, key reform initiatives including dual income taxes and flat taxes, as well as the worldwide spread of the VAT and policy developments associated with climate change and natural resource taxation.