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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report presents the results of applying the Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) value-added tax (VAT) gap estimation methodology1 to Poland for the period 2010–16. The RA-GAP methodology employs a top-down approach for estimating the potential VAT base, using statistical data from national accounts on value-added generated in each sector. There are two main components to this 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. RA-GAP provides estimates of the two components of the tax gap: the compliance gap and the policy 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. The policy gap is the difference between the overall tax gap and the compliance gap. To put the level and trends of the compliance gap into context it is also necessary to analyze the level and trends of the overall tax gap and the policy gap.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
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.
Mr. Michael Keen and Mr. Joel Slemrod
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.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report presents estimates of the tax gap for Denmark for the period 2008–12. 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.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
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.
Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea and Atsuyoshi Morozumi
Does the design of a tax matter for growth? Assembling a novel dataset for 30 OECD countries over the 1970-2016 period, this paper examines whether the value added tax (VAT) may have different effects on long-run growth depending on whether it is raised through the standard rate or through C-efficiency (a measure of the departure of the VAT from a perfectly enforced tax levied at a single rate on all consumption). Our key findings are twofold. First, for a given total tax revenue, a rise in the VAT, financed by a fall in income taxes, promotes growth only when the VAT is raised through C-efficiency. Second, for a given VAT revenue, a rise in Cefficiency, offset by a fall in the standard rate, also promotes growth. The implication is thus that in OECD countries broadening the VAT base through fewer reduced rates and exemptions is more conducive to higher long-run growth than a rise in the standard rate.