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Mr. John M Abbott and Mr. R. B. Johnston
Assessing financial systems' stability has required the IMF to dig deeper into financial sector issues and to include financial integrity elements in its assessments. Integrity elements are increasingly being addressed by international standards. More progress is needed, however, to prepare a comprehensive framework to prevent the abuse of the financial systems by both outsiders and insiders.
Mr. Parthasarathi Shome
Small taxpayers should pay their appropriate revenue share while their compliance costs should be reduced. This assumes importance as restructuring in emerging markets has meant rapid growth in services through self-employed small entrepreneurs, who have good revenue potential. Administrative facilitators such as a single tax covering income tax, VAT, and social security tax, at a reduced rate, do not lower tax evasion. They increase vertical and horizontal inequity, and lead to adverse resource allocation. A strategy is needed, extending modernization achieved in large taxpayer units (LTUs) to small taxpayers, including rationalization of collection and reporting of revenue data for policy formulation.
Mr. Harm Zebregs and Ms. Wanda S Tseng
China's increasing openness to foreign direct investment (FDI) has contributed importantly to its exceptional growth performance. This paper examines China's experience with FDI and identifies some lessons for other countries. Most of the factors explaining China's success have also been important in attracting FDI to other countries: market size, labor costs, quality of infrastructure, and government policies. FDI has contributed to higher investment and productivity growth, and has created jobs and a dynamic export sector. China's success, however, did not come without some pitfalls: an increasingly complex tax incentive system and growing regional income disparities. Accession to the WTO should broaden China's "opening up" policies and continue FDI's contributions to China's economy in the future.
Mr. David C Nellor
This paper focuses on tax policy and the crisis in Asia in the context of globalization and technological change. Two sets of conclusions, specific tax reform measures and general lessons from the crisis, form the tax policy agenda on these issues. The complexity and volume of financial transactions, associated with the opening of emerging markets, have made tax administration a more challenging task. Just as strengthening financial systems must be a precursor to capital account liberalization, tax administrations clearly also require strengthening in such an environment. In many emerging markets the capacity to tax capital returns is limited. Tax administrators need to understand and monitor complex financial transactions that grew rapidly due both to financial sector liberalization and technological innovation. Traditional difficulties for tax administrators, such as transfer pricing, that had often been limited to natural resource sectors in developing economies, took on wider importance as local companies gained sophistication and developed offshore operations.
Ms. Elaine Karen Buckberg
Although financial stabilization has laid the foundation for growth, structural reform of the economy will determine whether Russia achieves sustained medium-term growth. The next step for Russia is to create an institutional and regulatory environment that fosters investment and promotes new private sector activity. This paper examines the most critical reforms for promoting private sector development: reforming the tax system, reducing red tape and bureaucratic corruption, strengthening the judicial system, and improving capital market infrastructure.
Mr. Barry H Potter
In the past, Road Funds have been criticized as inconsistent with effective expenditure control, as distorting the allocation of public sector resources, and as incompatible with efficient management of government resources. This paper considers whether there is a case for a more benevolent view of the new “second generation” dedicated Road Funds, which have emerged in recent years. The paper concludes that, where a Road Fund pursues a genuine purchasing agency approach, then in principle it can be an efficient means of delivering road maintenance and, perhaps road capital expenditures. But a formidable list of institutional and financial requirements would have to be satisfied for a dedicated Road Fund to be appropriate. These conditions are more likely to be satisfied in developed economies, with efficient budgetary systems already in place. In many developing countries, the better solution may be to reform overall budget institutions, procedures and practices. But if the institutional and financial requirements for an efficient fund can be met, a Road Fund may be appropriate. The question is just how often the right conditions will arise.