The purpose of this note is to provide a framework for improving tax policy design in fragile and conflict-affected states, which face political and institutional constraints. This note begins with an overview of experiences in revenue mobilization in fragile states, including relative to other country groups—in particular, nonfragile states and formerly fragile states; that is, countries that exited fragility during the period under study. A discussion follows of how the principles of tax policy design should be applied in fragile states, particularly the relative importance of the revenue objective vis-à-vis other objectives, such as equity and efficiency. The two sections that follow provide guidance on tax policy design in the emergency and consolidation phases, respectively, and discuss how governments can use tax policy to transition from one phase to another, eventually overcoming fragility. The note concludes with key lessons and a set of guiding principles for tax reform in fragile states.
Unilateral adoption of transfer pricing regulations may have a negative impact on real
investment by multinational corporations (MNCs). This paper uses a quasi-experimental
research design, exploiting unique panel data on domestic and multinational companies in 27
countries during 2006-2014, to find that MNC affiliates reduce their investment by over 11
percent following the introduction of transfer pricing regulations. There is no significant
reduction in total investment by the MNC group, suggesting that these investments are most
likely shifted to affiliates in other countries. The impact of transfer pricing regulations
corresponds to an increase in the ``TPR-adjusted'' corporate tax rate by almost one quarter.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission to assist the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Srpska (RS), Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the compilation and dissemination of government finance statistics in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) and the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010). It was found that the chart of accounts used by the RS is very comprehensive and facilitates the bridging of the national codes to GFSM 2014 and ESA 2010 codes. Some amendments and extensions may be performed to further improve the bridging to GFSM 2014 and ESA 2010.
The economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) continues to recover. Growth was 3.2 percent in 2015, despite fiscal consolidation forced by financing constraints, and is expected to be at about the same level this year. External and internal imbalances have eased substantially in the past year. However, since the global financial crisis, economic convergence with advanced European economies has lagged. Unemployment, especially among the youth, is high and persistent, and creates incentives for emigration. There are important challenges in the areas of improving the business environment, reorienting fiscal policy to support growth while ensuring sustainability, promoting credit while safeguarding financial stability, and ensuring the fragmented governance structure does not affect the single economic space.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to rebound to more than 2 percent in 2015, as economic activity is picking up in Europe. Industrial activity and exports have been gathering momentum. Domestic political risks weigh heavily on the outlook. The risk of policy slippages and delays in implementation of the Reform Agenda is significant given the complex political set up and the strong opposition to reforms from vested interests. On the external side, risks are more balanced, as stagnation in Europe, possible financial market strains, or geopolitical tensions could dampen growth, while a faster recovery in Europe or the resolution of trade issues with the European Union could spur exports.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes government spending in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The size of the public sector in BiH is one of the largest in the region, owing mainly to a complex and highly decentralized governance structure. BiH spends a greater share of public resources on current spending items, notably on wages and social transfers. Moreover, poorly targeted social benefits generate adverse incentives with respect to informality and labor force participation. To enhance economic growth, BiH will need to refocus its spending and increase its efficiency, chiefly on spending on human and physical capital.
This paper focuses on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Fourth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Request for Modification and Waivers of Applicability of Performance Criteria. Despite a challenging environment, steady progress has been made in meeting program objectives. All end-June 2013 performance criteria on fiscal balances were met. Although tax revenues have lagged the pick-up in activity, tight spending controls have allowed for the end-June 2013 quantitative performance criteria on the budget balances of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the central governments of the Federation and Republika Srpska (RS) to be met with comfortable margins. The IMF Staff recommends the completion of the fourth review.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Kosovo’s 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights growth and Kosovo’s external environment. In the wake of the global financial crisis, Kosovo’s economic growth slowed but remained positive, while most other Western Balkans slipped into recession. Moreover, the annual average growth rate has been among the highest in the Western Balkans since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. Kosovo’s tax-to-GDP ratio is comparable to the average of Southeastern Europe, although its tax system relies significantly more on indirect taxation—including a high share of trade taxes. Kosovo’s reliance on trade taxes may create budgetary pressures in the event of further trade liberalization.