This Selected Issues paper considers features of the Luxembourg tax system that may be susceptible to changes in international tax transparency standards and surveys related policy options. Luxembourg’s predictable and generally low-rate tax system has helped establish it as a leading financial and commercial entrepôt and has supported its fiscal revenues. Its revenue base could, however, be susceptible to changes in the European Union and global tax environment. This paper highlights that to address potential challenges to Luxembourg’s revenue base, the tax policy review should explore selective rate increases and base broadening measures. Moreover, the tax practices should seek to avoid encouraging unnecessary complexity in corporate ownership structures and intragroup financial contracts.
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Luxembourg authorities are adjusting policies to the growth slowdown, although major new initiatives are on hold in the run-up to the June 2004 general election. Tax cuts, high expenditure, and weak activity are estimated to have caused a general government deficit in 2003. Executive Directors have welcomed indications that real GDP growth is rebounding, following an unusually long period of sluggish activity. However, they have stressed that medium-term growth prospects are now less buoyant in comparison with the exceptional growth performance of the past decade.