Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
En los últimos años, el FMI ha publicado cada vez más informes y trabajos que abarcan los fenómenos y tendencias en materia económica y financiera en los países miembros. Un equipo de integrantes del personal técnico del FMI elabora cada informe tras celebrar consultas con los funcionarios de los gobiernos; el país miembro puede optar por publicar el informe.
This technical paper focuses on the challenges faced by Paraguay’s budget resources. Paraguay’s government should adopt a forward-looking fiscal strategy. The strategy’s main goals should be to contain budget dependence on Itaipu revenues, preserve fiscal discipline, and allow for the gradual and sustainable transformation of the envisaged, yet temporary, windfall into other forms of financial, physical, and human capital. The creation of a special fund could help mobilize public support for saving part of the windfall and building a buffer for the future.
John M. Piotrowski, Mr. David Coady, Justin Tyson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, Mr. Robert Gillingham, and Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq
Petroleum product subsidies have again started to increase with the rebound in international prices. This note reviews recent developments in subsidy levels and argues that reforming the policy framework for setting petroleum product prices is necessary to reduce the fiscal burden of these subsidies and to address climate change. Between 2003 and mid-2008, global consumer subsidies for petroleum products are estimated to have increased more than eightfold, from $57 billion to $490 billion. Although subsidies decreased to $136 billion by mid-2009, they are projected to increase to $237 billion by end-2010 (or nearly 0.3 percent of global GDP). Tax-inclusive subsidies, reflecting sub-optimal taxation of petroleum products, are projected to increase to $733 billion, or 1.0 percent of global GDP. G-20 countries account for over 70 percent of tax-inclusive subsidies. Halving tax-inclusive subsidies could reduce projected fiscal deficits in subsidizing countries by one-sixth and greenhouse emissions by around 15 percent. Subsidy reform strategies should contain measures to mitigate the impact of higher prices on the poorest groups.
A weakness of decentralization and overall tax reforms in Latin America is the lack of attention to adequate taxation at the subnational government. A reliance on shared taxes with extensive earmarking leads to weak subnational accountability and soft budget constraints. The paper explores the options for expanding subnational taxation in Latin America. A range of subnational tax instruments might be considered, but interactions between new tax assignments and the system of transfers is important from a political economy perspective.
This Selected Issues paper on Bolivia reports that it has experienced major increases in its gas reserves, production, and exports. Not only have their levels increased significantly, but also there have been extensive regulatory changes, which range from the privatization of the mid-1990s to the increase in the government’s tax take from the hydrocarbons industry. The government has reached new agreements with foreign oil companies that will allow foreign companies to continue recovering part of their old investments.
This paper discusses Bolivia’s Fifth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria (PC), and Rephasing, Augmentation, and Extension of the SBA. The 2004 program was on track. All quantitative PCs were met, with the exception of the end-September PC on central bank credit to the nonfinancial public sector. Macroeconomic developments have been positive, largely reflecting the favorable global environment, although the economy is still vulnerable. Real GDP growth is estimated to have reached 3¾ percent in 2004, and is projected to reach 4.5 percent in 2005.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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