Wouter Bossu, Mr. Cory Hillier, and Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler
Recent financial crises including the ongoing one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have consistently drawn attention to the need to strengthen the quality of public debt management in emerging markets and developing countries. Deeper and more efficient domestic government debt markets—being, a key segment of the LCBM for many emerging markets and developing economies—play a key role in reducing financial vulnerability to shocks and enable governments to finance critical economic and fiscal policy measures in response to them. Policymakers and international organizations have long recognized that developing and strengthening LCBMs is a key policy prescription to sound public debt management. Robust legal and regulatory frameworks are recognized as being critical building blocks for the structure, development and functioning of LCBMs. This Working Paper seeks to outline a strategically anchored methodology that can be applied to design, build and implement the legal and tax foundations for the development of LCBMs that would adequately address common challenges and impediments.
This paper explores that in developing economies, sufficient tax revenue is necessary to finance spending on health care, education, and infrastructure—all of which are prerequisites for economic growth and development. However, it is not simply the revenue ratio that matters; the quality of the revenue system is also essential for delivering fair and efficient outcomes. To design a revenue system that fosters sustainable economic and social development and enjoys broad public support, it is essential for tax reform proposals to be carefully assessed, quantitatively analyzed, and openly debated. This requires that decision makers and all stakeholders in the debate have access to the best available facts, data, and independent evidence-based analysis, including about the impact of tax reforms on revenue, the income distribution, and economic performance. The central institutional actor in the decision making process—the executive—is best supported in this process by what is generally called a tax policy unit (TPU). TPUs are tasked to guide and inform the tax policy debate, based on facts, independent data analysis, and multidisciplinary efforts.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Armenia’s Third Review Under the Extended Arrangement, and Request for Waiver and Modification of Performance Criteria (PC). Growth in Armenia is expected to remain subdued as recession in Russia continues and as the base effects of the 2015 one-off factors dissipate. The program performance has been broadly satisfactory. All end-December 2015 PCs, except for the fiscal deficit PC, and all the continuous PCs were met. The fiscal deficit PC was missed by 0.3 percent of GDP. The IMF staff supports completion of the review and the authorities’ request for a purchase in an amount equivalent to SDR 15.65 million.
Advance tax rulings are a common feature of mature tax systems. The tax systems of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and South Africa all have established ruling practices. Taxpayers can obtain an advance tax ruling in nearly all OECD member countries. Increasingly, many non-OECD countries are also offering advance tax rulings. An advance tax ruling regime seeks to promote clarity and consistency regarding the application of the tax law for both taxpayers and the tax authority. However, there are also inherent risks associated with the proliferation of granting confidential advance tax rulings which are not published or otherwise reported. This Tax Law IMF Technical Note focuses on designing an advance tax ruling regime in the nature of private tax rulings.
Tax avoidance continues to attract attention globally with strong support for tax law reform at all levels. This Tax Law IMF Technical Note focuses on some of the key design and drafting considerations of one specific legal instrument (being, a statutory general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR)) which is often considered by authorities to combat unacceptable tax avoidance practices. A GAAR is typically designed to strike down those otherwise lawful practices that are found to be carried out in a manner which undermines the intention of the tax law such as where a taxpayer has misused or abused that law. However, the objective of combating unacceptable tax avoidance can itself make the legal design of a GAAR complex. This is simply because the phrase “tax avoidance” means different things to different people. Whatever the form of a GAAR, it should give effect to a policy that seeks to strike down blatant, artificial or contrived arrangements which are tax driven. However, the GAAR should be designed and applied so as not to inhibit or impede ordinary commercial transactions. This Tax Law IMF Technical Note discusses and explores how drawing a line between those arrangements which should be caught by the GAAR is a matter of degree and can be delicate.
This paper provides an overview of the recent revenue performance in the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union, and a survey of these countries efforts to modify tax policy in line with the needs of increasingly market-oriented economies and to increase the effectiveness of tax administration. It focuses principally on the 12 countries of the CIS, but refers also to the Baltic countries, and addresses the period from 1995 to mid-1998, prior to the August 1998 financial crisis in Russia.
Although financial stabilization has laid the foundation for growth, structural reform of the economy will determine whether Russia achieves sustained medium-term growth. The next step for Russia is to create an institutional and regulatory environment that fosters investment and promotes new private sector activity. This paper examines the most critical reforms for promoting private sector development: reforming the tax system, reducing red tape and bureaucratic corruption, strengthening the judicial system, and improving capital market infrastructure.