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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Summary: In this Selected Issues Paper (SIP), we revisit Rwanda’s options to create fiscal space to meet long-term development challenges. We examine strategies and options for a credible and comprehensive domestic revenue mobilization. We analyze the driving factors of past reform successes and use an original dataset to highlight the benefits of implementing comprehensive tax reforms over selective reforms. The SIP concludes that selective measures tend to yield protracted loss of revenue while measures implemented comprehensively lead to increases in revenue in the medium term. This stresses the need for an integrated approach to fiscal policy reform coordination to maximize long-term revenue benefits. For Rwanda, a comprehensive strategy for increasing tax revenues by adjusting rates, broadening the domestic tax base, improving tax compliance, and curbing tax evasion is the way forward.

Hassan Adan, Jean-Marc B. Atsebi, Nikolay Gueorguiev, Mr. Jiro Honda, and Manabu Nose
Despite the criticality of tax administration (TA) reforms in enhancing domestic revenue mobilization, few studies have attempted to quantify the revenue impact of such reforms. This paper fills this gap by estimating the revenue yields associated with various tax administration capabilities, based on the International Survey on Tax Administration (ISORA), the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT), and TA reform episodes datasets (identified by Akitoby et al., 2020). It uses a Hausman-Taylor cross-country panel regression and an event study for specific TA reform episodes. Our results (using the ISORA data) show that an increase in the overall strength of TA from the 40th percentile to the 60th percentile is associated with an increase in tax revenue by 1.8 pp. of GDP (with a 95 percent confidence range of 0.5‒2.6 pp. of GDP). Similarly, the event-study assessment shows that sustained TA reforms led to an increase in tax revenues between 2 to 3 pp. of GDP, in line with the experience in three country cases (Jamaica, Rwanda, and Senegal). Also, the revenue yields are increasing over time to more than 3 pp. of GDP after the 6th year following a comprehensive reform. The analysis also highlights the significant impact of specific measures including: i) strengthening compliance risks management, ii) enhancing public accountability, iii) establishing Large Taxpayer Offices (LTO), iv) strengthening accountability and transparency, and v) enhancing timely filing of tax declarations.
Patricio A Barra, Mr. Eric Hutton, and Polina Prokof'yeva

This technical note describes bottom-up CIT gap estimation techniques applied by revenue administrations in the following highly experienced countries in this approach: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The main topics included in the descriptions are techniques applied, CIT gap results, advantages and disadvantages of different available options, and future developments and recommendations for any revenue administration interested in starting bottom-up CIT gap estimation programs having no prior experience.