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.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s economy. Output growth in Lebanon has fallen sharply since the onset of the Syrian crisis and is too low to accommodate new job seekers, or to address the needs of Lebanon’s more vulnerable population. Moreover, low growth is taking a toll on public debt dynamics, raising the prospect of higher borrowing costs and constrained social and investment spending—both are much needed to improve the quality of public spending and direct it toward more useful and productive uses. The authorities have presented an ambitious proposal to the international community, which centers on a multiyear effort to stimulate growth and employment through a targeted series of investment initiatives.
This study investigates the likely macroeconomic impact of various structural reforms that align the Chilean regulatory framework with international best practices. In this context, the analysis: i) presents a comparison across a large set of structural indicators; ii) identifies policy gaps with respect to OECD countries; and iii) provides quantification of the likely growth and fiscal impact of policy reforms needed to close the gaps. Chile’s economy is likely to benefit from streamlining business regulation and licensing, strengthening innovation and R&D capacity, improving labor market flexibility, and enhancing active labor market policies. Overall, the study presents a scenario in which Chile closes structural gaps with OECD’s 25th percentile over five years, with up to 6 percent higher output level and a cumulative net fiscal gain of about ½ percent of GDP.
This paper examines tax revenue during the business cycle by estimating the relationship between tax revenue efficiency and the output gap. We find a positive and significant relationship between these variables; results are consistent for quarterly and annual data, and across advanced and developing economies. We also find that a worsening (improvement) in the VAT C-efficiency is driven by shifts in consumption patterns and changes in tax evasion during contractions (expansions). A key implication is that, particularly during major economic booms and downturns, policy makers should look beyond simple, long-run revenue elasticities and incorporate into their analysis the effects of the economic cycle on tax revenue efficiency.
This paper sets out a framework for analyzing optimal interventions by a tax administration, one
that parallels and can be closely integrated with established frameworks for thinking about
optimal tax policy. Its key contribution is the development of a summary measure of the impact
of administrative interventions—the “enforcement elasticity of tax revenue”—that is a sufficient
statistic for the behavioral response to such interventions, much as the elasticity of taxable
income serves as a sufficient statistic for the response to tax rates. Amongst the applications are
characterizations of the optimal balance between policy and administrative measures, and of the
optimal compliance gap.
This paper sets out some tools for understanding the performance of the value added tax (VAT). Applying a decomposition of VAT revenues (as a share of GDP) to the universe of VATs over the last twenty years, it emerges that developments have been driven much less by changes in standard rates than by changes in ‘C-efficiency’ (an indicator of the departure of the VAT from a perfectly enforced tax levied at a uniform rate on all consumption). Decomposing C-efficiency into a ‘policy gap’ (in turn divided into effects of rate differentiation and exemption) and a ‘compliance’ gap (reflecting imperfect implementation), results pieced together for EU members suggest that the former are in almost all cases far larger than the latter, with rate differentiation and exemptions playing roles that differ quite widely across countries.
This report responds to the February 2016 request from the G20 for the IMF, OECD, United Nations and World Bank Group to:
“…recommend mechanisms to help ensure effective implementation of technical assistance programs, and recommend how countries can contribute funding for tax projects and direct technical assistance, and report back with recommendations at our July meeting.”
The report has been prepared in the framework of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (the “PCT”), under the responsibility of the Secretariats and Staff of the four mandated organizations. The report reflects a broad consensus among these staff, but should not be regarded as the officially endorsed views of those organizations or of their member countries.
This paper addresses core challenges that all tax administrations face in dealing with noncompliance—which are now receiving renewed attention. Long a priority in developing countries, assuring strong compliance has acquired greater priority in countries facing intensified revenue needs, and is critical for fairness and statebuilding.
Series: Policy Papers