Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
Mr. Yibin Mu, Mr. Peter Phelps, and Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky
African bond markets have been steadily growing in recent years, but nonetheless remain undeveloped. African countries would benefit from greater access to financing and deeper financial markets. This paper compiles a unique set of data on corporate bond markets in Africa. It then applies an econometric model to analyze the key determinants of African government securities market and corporate bond market capitalization. Government securities market capitalization is directly related to better institutions and interest rate volatility, and inversely related to the fiscal balance, higher interest rate spreads, exchange rate volatility, and current and capital account openness. Corporate bond market capitalization is directly linked to economic size, the level of development of the economy and financial markets, better institutions, and interest rate volatility, and inversely related to higher interest rate spreads and current account openness. Policy implications follow.