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Kiyoshi Nakayama
A well-designed regional tax treaty to which developing countries are signatories will include provisions securing minimum withholding taxes on investment income and technical service fees, a taxing right in respect of capital gains from indirect offshore transfers, and guarding against-treaty shopping. A tax treaty policy framework—national or regional—that specifies the main policy outcomes to be achieved before negotiations commence would enable developing countries with more limited expertise and lower capacity for tax treaty negotiations to avoid concluding problematic tax treaties. This note provides guidance for members of regional economic communities in the developing world on what should and should not be included in a regional tax treaty and how to design on a common tax treaty policy framework for use in negotiations of bilateral tax treaties with nonmembers.
Mr. Junji Ueda
The IMF Fiscal Affairs Department's Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) aims to provide a quantitative analysis of the tax gap between potential revenues and actual collections, and this technical note explains the concept of the tax gap for corporate income tax (CIT), and the methodology to estimate CIT gaps. It includes detailed steps to derive the potential CIT base and liability with careful consideration for the theoretical differences between the coverage of statistical macroeconomic data and the actual tax base of CIT, and then compare the estimated results with actual declarations and revenues. Although the estimated gaps following the approach will have margins of errors, it has the advantage of using available data without additional costs of collection and suits initial evaluations of overall CIT noncompliance in a country.
Mario Mansour, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Mr. Carlo A Sdralevich, and Mr. Andrew Jewell
La quête d'égalité et d'équité — et ce que peuvent faire les gouvernements pour la satisfaire — est au cœur du débat économique et social dans le monde entier. Dans la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord (MOAN), ce thème revêt une signification particulière, mais n'a pas été suffisamment traité. Cette note de réflexion étudie le rôle que peuvent jouer les régimes fiscaux, interfaces essentielles entre les États et leurs citoyens, pour répondre aux exigences de plus grande équité économique dans les pays de la région MOAN. Elle conclut que dans les pays qui ont des régimes fiscaux bien établis ne reposant pas sur les hydrocarbures (principalement des pays importateurs de pétrole), les réformes devraient viser en priorité à simplifier la structure de la fiscalité et à introduire une plus grande progressivité de l'impôt sur le revenu, à élargir la base d'imposition, et à améliorer la conception et l'application des taxes foncières. L'administration fiscale devrait être plus efficace et conviviale. La simplification des régimes fiscaux réduirait le risque de traitement arbitraire. Les pays de la région MOAN dont les recettes fiscales hors hydrocarbures sont moins développées pourraient commencer par introduire une TVA et un impôt sur le revenu des sociétés à faible taux, instaurer des taxes foncières et des droits d'accises, et renforcer leurs capacités administratives et leur expertise fiscale, tout en établissant des plans pour l'introduction d'un impôt sur le revenu des personnes physiques. Dans toute la région, la réussite de ces réformes nécessitera d'assurer une communication efficace et transparente, et d'entretenir un dialogue constructif entre l'État et les citoyens.
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 simplifying tax structures and introducing more progressivity of personal income taxes, broadening tax bases, and better designing and enforcing property taxes. Tax administration should be more efficient and user-friendly while simplifying tax regimes will reduce the scope for arbitrary implementation. MENA countries with less established non-hydrocarbon revenue systems can begin with a “starter pack” that includes introduction of low-rate value-added and corporate income taxes, excises, and property taxes while building up administrative capacity and taxation expertise together with plans for introducing a personal income tax. Across the region, effective communication, transparency, and constructive dialogue between the State and citizens are critical to the success of reforms.
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 simplifying tax structures and introducing more progressivity of personal income taxes, broadening tax bases, and better designing and enforcing property taxes. Tax administration should be more efficient and user-friendly while simplifying tax regimes will reduce the scope for arbitrary implementation. MENA countries with less established non-hydrocarbon revenue systems can begin with a “starter pack” that includes introduction of low-rate value-added and corporate income taxes, excises, and property taxes while building up administrative capacity and taxation expertise together with plans for introducing a personal income tax. Across the region, effective communication, transparency, and constructive dialogue between the State and citizens are critical to the success of reforms.
Ruud A. de Mooij
Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff and are published to elicit comment and to further debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011.