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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. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on macro-critical issues related to governance and corruption in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Third-party indicators suggest that governance has been poor and corruption widespread in the country. Conducting an audit of the civil service and improving the transparency of its remuneration system, simplifying tax payment processes, and merging the activities of the numerous revenue agencies would boost public efficiency and improve the business environment. Contract enforcement and protection of property rights could be enhanced by insulating the courts from external influence. Limited information on the budget annexes and special accounts and little or no oversight by the central government, Parliament, and civil society, create scope for corruption. The multiplicity of special taxes and fees, some accruing to special accounts outside the Treasury, generate opportunities for corruption and informalization of economic activity. Despite some progress in strengthening public financial management, budget execution remains deficient. The government has formalized the four stages of the expenditure chain and introduced budget commitment plans to align expenditures with revenues.
Nicoletta Batini
France is the top agricultural producer in the European Union (EU), and agriculture plays a prominent role in the country’s foreign trade and intermediate exchanges. Reflecting production volumes and methods, the sector, however, also generates significant negative environmental and public health externalities. Recent model simulations show that a well-designed shift in production and consumption to make the former sustainable and align the latter with recommended values can curb these considerably and generate large macroeconomic gains. I propose a policy toolkit in line with the government’s existing sectoral policies that can support this transition.
Linxi Chen, Ding Ding, and Rui Mano
In late 2015, the Chinese authorities launched a policy to reduce capacity in the coal and steel industries under the wider effort of Supply-Side Structural Reforms. Around the same time, producer price inflation in China started to pick up strongly after being trapped in negative territory for more than fifty consecutive months. So what is behind this strong reflation—capacity cuts in coal and steel, or a strengthening of aggregate demand? Our empirical analyses indicate that a pickup in aggregate demand, possibly due to the government’s stimulus package in 2015-16, was the more important driver. Capacity cuts played a role in propping up coal and steel prices, explaining at most 40 percent of their price increase.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Mongolia’s promising longer-term prospects given its abundant natural resources. In recent years, however, the economy has faced substantial challenges, as external shocks and expansionary fiscal and monetary policies have compounded structural weaknesses. Mongolia remains heavily exposed to external shocks, given its export profile, and a key challenge will be to avoid the boom-bust cycles of the past. The discussions with authorities have focused on improving the fiscal framework and strengthening policy discipline, complemented by structural reforms to boost diversification and competitiveness and by efforts to strengthen and better target the social safety net.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report evaluates the National Accounts Mission in Mongolia. Mongolia’s national accounts statistics were found to be broadly adequate for IMF surveillance according to the most recent IMF Staff Report. The National Statistics Office is commended for having compiled the existing GDP data and for continuing to implement the current international standard. However, several areas for further improvement in national accounts statistics should be incorporated into the work program. These include the need to secure the National Statistics Office’s new institutional structure and enhance its staff’s skills mix, improve coordination among stakeholders, and upgrade the survey forms currently in use in order to compile enhanced estimates of GDP.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This Technical Assistance report reviews South Africa’s tax system and also examines the fiscal regime with a view to generating a sustainable revenue contribution from mining and petroleum in future. Mining has historically been the mainstay of the South African economy. Mineral exports remain the principal contributor to foreign exchange earnings on the current account. South Africa is not yet a significant producer of crude oil or natural gas. Oil and gas exploration nevertheless shows promise. Taxation is far from top of the list in current challenges facing the development of extractive industries in South Africa. The national goal of economic and social transformation in favor of Historically Disadvantaged South Africans has major impact on the mining sector.
Mr. Emmanuel Mathias and Bert Feys
The trade in precious metals and stones has been linked to illicit financial flows, corruption, smuggling, drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, and the financing of terrorism. In addition, the extraction of precious minerals and the subsequent trade in these resources, if properly managed, present significant revenue opportunities, particularly for countries facing development needs. Building on staff expertise in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and technical support and analytical advice on the management of natural resources, this note is a reference guide to aid countries in using the AML/CFT framework to help combat crime related to and affecting the precious minerals sector while raising revenue.