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Sebastian Beer and Dan Devlin
Profit shifting remains a key concern in international tax system debate, but discussions are largely based on aggregate estimates, with less attention paid to individual sectors. Drawing on a novel dataset, we quantify tax avoidance risks in the extractive industries, a sector which is revenue critical for many developing economies. We find that a one percentage point increase in the domestic corporate tax rate has historically reduced sectoral profits by slightly over 3 percent; and the response tends to be more pronounced among mining than among hydrocarbon firms. There is only weak evidence transfer pricing rules contain tax minimization efforts of MNEs in our sample, but interest limitation rules (e.g., thin capitalization or earnings based rules) do reduce the observable extent of profit shifting. Our findings highlight the challenge of taxing income in the natural resource sector and suggest how fiscal regime design might be strengthened.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This technical assistance report on Republic of Armenia advices on advises on strategic choices for tax administration and compliance risk management. It complements the March 2018 tax administration mission, which provided the State Revenue Committee (SRC) with general guidance to develop and implement a compliance improvement framework. Armenia’s tax policy setting creates challenges for the SRC to effectively manage tax compliance. The Government’s tax policy framework is likely to create new noncompliance opportunities and result in revenue leakages. Strengthened fundamental functions and processes are needed for the delivery of effective tax administration. Two issues raised in the 2018 tax administration mission report need to be highlighted again. The mission provided an analysis of SRC case selection and advised on the adoption of analytical tools to achieve better results. The SRC’s current additive risk rule scoring approaches need to be supplemented by predictive modeling giving better predictions and prioritization of the likelihood and potential consequences of noncompliance—the use of such model is envisaged in the SRC’s draft strategic plan.
Ms. Li Liu, Mr. Ben Lockwood, Miguel Almunia, and Eddy H.F. Tam
Using administrative tax records for UK businesses, we document both bunching in annual turnover below the VAT registration threshold and persistent voluntary registration by almost half of the firms below the threshold. We develop a conceptual framework that can simultaneously explain these two apparently conflicting facts. The framework also predicts that higher intermediate input shares, lower product-market competition and a lower share of business to consumer (B2C) sales lead to voluntary registration. The predictions are exactly the opposite for bunching. We test the theory using linked VAT and corporation tax records from 2004-2014, finding empirical support for these predictions.
Feng Wei and Jean-François Wen
Presumptive income taxes in the form of a tax on turnover for SMEs are pervasive as a way to reduce the costs of compliance and administration. We analyze a model where entrepreneurs allocate labor to the formal and informal sectors. Formal sector income is subjected either to a corporate income tax or a tax on turnover, depending on whether their turnover exceeds a threshold. We characterize the private sector equilibrium for any given configuration of tax policy parameters (corporate income tax rate, turnover tax rate, and threshold). Given private behavior, social welfare is optimized. We interpret the first-order conditions for welfare maximization to identify the key margins and then simulate a calibrated version of the model.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
With the appointment of a new government, a lively debate has ensued about redirecting fiscal policies in support of a balanced revenue-raising strategy that is conducive to investment and growth. Currently, Armenia needs to raise more revenues in support of fiscal consolidation and to generate additional funding for developing and maintaining the physical infrastructure with special reference to the need of improving the urban built-up environment. Since the Authorities requested the mission to consider tax measures that are supportive of growth and/or tradeable sector, the proposed restructuring of taxes recognizes that real estate taxes, resource rent taxes, and broad-based consumption taxes (VAT and excises) are least distortive for growth. The 2016 Technical Assistance Mission in its report reviewed already unutilized tax bases as far as excises are concerned (taxation of gambling, mobile air time, waste packaging taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxation). As requested by the authorities, this mission focused on improving personal and business income taxes, presumptive taxation, and the recurrent real estate tax as base-broadening of the latter could support the fiscal program of the new government.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures required to enhance nonhydrocarbon revenue to support fiscal consolidation in Qatar. Qatar depends heavily on the hydrocarbon sector for exports and revenue receipts. The authorities have embarked on fiscal consolidation, underpinned by cuts to current expenditures and enhanced efforts to raise additional revenue. Safeguarding Qatar’s wealth to ensure intergenerational equity and ensure adequate resources for the implementation of the second National Development Strategy would entail increased mobilization of nonhydrocarbon revenue in the near to medium term. Exploring other sources of tax revenue to diversify the government revenue structure and build a stable tax revenue base is also critical.
Mr. Paolo Dudine and João Tovar Jalles
In this paper we provide short- and long-run tax buoyancy estimates for 107 countries (distributed between advanced, emerging and low-income) for the period 1980–2014. By means of Fully-Modified OLS and (Pooled) Mean Group estimators, we find that: i) for advanced economies both long-run and short-run buoyancies are not different from one; ii) long run tax buoyancy exceeds one in the case of CIT for advanced economies, PIT and SSC in emerging markets, and TGS for low income countries, iii) in advanced countries (emerging market economies) CIT (CIT and TGS) buoyancy is larger during contractions than during times of economic expansions; iv) both trade openness and human capital increase buoyancy while inflation and output volatility decrease it.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This paper discusses Malian mining taxation. Mali’s industrial mining sector is predominantly gold mining, with six industrial mines currently active. Most of the mines are old, but some have substantial reserves; extensions are planned for the Syama, Morila, Kalama, Tabakoto-Segela, and Loulo-Gounkoto mines. The Fiscal Analysis for Resource Industries model was completed for five new projects with recent feasibility studies. The government revenue contributed by the five new projects is on the order of US$1.7 billion (constant dollars) over the next 10 years. The application of the 1999 or 2012 Mining Code increases the government’s share of income in comparison with the 1991 code.
Mario Mansour, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Mr. Carlo A Sdralevich, and Mr. Andrew Jewell
Fairness – and what governments can do about it – is at the forefront of economic and social debate all over the world. In MENA, this has been at the core of recent political transitions but has not been adequately addressed. This SDN explores how tax systems – a critical interface between the state and citizens – can play a role in meeting demands for greater economic fairness in MENA countries. The SDN finds that for countries with well-established non-hydrocarbon tax systems (mostly oil importers) reforms should focus on si