Mrs. Andrea Lemgruber, Mr. Andrew R Masters, and Mr. Duncan Cleary
During the past few years, the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) has developed the Revenue Administration Fiscal Information Tool (RA-FIT), a tax and customs data gathering initiative. This paper, the first of its kind internationally given the number of countries covered, analyzes the results of the first round of RA-FIT data for 85 countries. It begins the process of making summarized cross-country information available to revenue administrations, in particular in developing economies, to help them improve their performance. Topics covered include performance measurement, institutional arrangements, and core operations of tax and customs administration. RA-FIT is in its second round of data gathering, now via an online portal; these data will be analyzed and in future made available to participating countries and technical assistance partners/donors through an online dissemination platform.
William Joseph Crandall, Elizabeth Gavin, and Mr. Andrew R Masters
This paper presents the results of the International Survey on Revenue Administration (ISORA) deployed during 2016 and covering fiscal years 2014 and 2015. It is made possible by the participation of 135 tax administrations from around the world that provided data.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Poland constructs a financial conditions index for Poland to explore the link between financial conditions and real economic activity. Measures to contain the fiscal deficit in the aftermath of the global financial crisis led to a reduction in the headline deficit from 7.9 percent of GDP in 2010 to 3.9 percent in 2012. The authorities plan to implement a permanent fiscal rule. This would complement existing public debt limits, which have proven useful but insufficient in the past. Regarding mechanism design, the authorities have expressed their preference for a simple expenditure rule, on grounds of transparency, predictability, and ease of implementation across budgetary units.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the results of applying the value-added tax (VAT) gap estimation methodology of the Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) to South Africa for the period 2007–12. It is found that the compliance gap is estimated to be between 5 percent and 10 percent of potential VAT revenues during the period 2007–12, and peaking in 2008 and 2009. The estimated compliance gap for VAT in South Africa between 2007 and 2012 is hump-shaped. The results also reveal that the level of the VAT policy gap in South Africa is low by international standards, owing to its simple VAT policy structure.
This Technical Assistance report discusses measures for enabling Romania’s Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) to reduce the tax gap. It recommends changing the criteria for inclusion of taxpayers in the LTO so that it is primarily based on turnover. The criteria should apply to taxpayers throughout Romania and should be the primary mechanism to establish whether a taxpayer is “in or out.” It is also important to maintain or increase the current number of employees in the LTO, even though the new criteria may significantly reduce the LTO taxpayer population. Although the taxpayer population will be lower, its importance in terms of revenue that needs to be protected will increase.
This report presents estimates of the tax gap for Finland for the period 2008–14. There are two main components to the RA-GAP methodology for estimating the VAT gap: 1) estimate the potential VAT collections for a given period; and 2) determine the accrued VAT collections for that period. The difference between the two values is the VAT gap. The methodology employs a top-down approach for estimating the potential VAT base, using statistical data on value-added generated in each sector and constructs the accrued VAT collections value from tax record data. One of the main purposes of this report is to estimate the compliance gap. The compliance gap is the difference between the potential VAT that could have been collected given the current policy framework and actual accrued VAT collections. Other tax gap measures can be determined using different methods for determining potential VAT, and these other measures are important in understanding all the factors which are affecting current collections. This report will provide estimates for these other gap measures as well, and compare and contrast them with the compliance gap.
This paper aims to determine how much of the economic slowdown of Albania is owing to cyclical conditions and how much to a reduction in potential growth. The analysis shows that average growth in 2009–14 dropped by 3.2 percentage points relative to 1997–2008, of which 2.8 percentage points are due to lower potential growth. Albania has significant potential to improve its export competitiveness. However, Albania’s competitiveness has shown narrow improvements over the past five years, with weak productivity growth and continued concentration in low-skilled labor-intensive sectors with limited value added. This paper also explores the factors underpinning Albania’s relatively low level of general government revenues.
This Selected Issues paper reviews the level and structure of tax revenues in Romania and proposes options to improve revenue mobilization drawing from other countries’ experiences. Tax revenue in Romania is low compared with peers and has been declining over time. Strengthening the tax administration is crucial to improving tax collection efficiency in Romania, and requires commitment and ownership at the highest levels. Implementing and operationalizing new information technology infrastructure in Romania is a key priority, given its outdated and fragile systems. Romania should also conduct a comprehensive review of its tax system. This review would guide future reform needs in the area of tax policy with the primarily focus on improving revenue productivity and the growth-friendliness of the tax system.