John Isaac was Deputy Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue in the United Kingdom. He is now retired.
John King was a Senior Economist in the Tax Policy Division of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department at the time of his death.
Robin Oliver is General Manager (Policy) in the Inland Revenue Department of New Zealand.
Alan Schenk is Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, Michigan, United States.
Howell H. Zee is an Advisor in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department. He was formerly Chief of the department’s Tax Policy Division.
One of the most complex issues in tax policy today is the treatment of the institutions, products, and services that make up the financial sector. It can be much more difficult to ascertain income, expenses, and profits for financial firms than for firms that sell goods and services, and financial transactions are far easier than nonfinancial transactions to manipulate so as to exploit tax loopholes. Policymakers have to take account of these pitfalls to avoid the economic distortions that could occur if tax laws inadvertently favored certain types of financial activities over others.
The six papers in this volume explore the challenges faced by tax policymakers in different parts of the financial sector—banks, insurance companies, securities companies, investment funds, pension funds, and derivatives. They highlight important conceptual issues, describe current practices worldwide, and identify modern best practices.
TAXING THE FINANCIAL SECTOR
Concepts, Issues, and Practices