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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.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This Technical Assistance paper discusses key findings of the assessment of the tax administration system in Georgia. Viewed overall, the Georgia Revenue Service is making good progress in implementing modern tax administration practices. Particularly evident is the innovative use of new technology in modernizing current operations. International good practices are already in place in a number of areas. For others, implementation of good practices is progressing; in some cases it has yet to be adopted. Many of the weaknesses identified in this assessment can be rectified relatively quickly, and in some areas, small changes can make a big difference to outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

This Technical Assistance paper discusses key findings of the assessment of the tax administration system in Georgia. Viewed overall, the Georgia Revenue Service is making good progress in implementing modern tax administration practices. Particularly evident is the innovative use of new technology in modernizing current operations. International good practices are already in place in a number of areas. For others, implementation of good practices is progressing; in some cases it has yet to be adopted. Many of the weaknesses identified in this assessment can be rectified relatively quickly, and in some areas, small changes can make a big difference to outcomes.

Mario Pessoa, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, and Virginia Alonso-Albarran

Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations CIP Compliance Improvement Plan GFSM Government Finance Statistics Manual GRS Georgia Revenue Service ISORA International Survey on Revenue Administration OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development PFM Public Financial Management RA-GAP Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program RST Retail Sales Tax SNA System of National Accounts TADAT Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool TSA Treasury Single Account VAT

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Georgia Revenue Service G4G Governing for Growth in Georgia HQ Headquarters IA Internal audit ID National identity number IT Information technology IFC International Finance Corporation LTO Large taxpayer office MoF Ministry of Finance NAPR National Agency for Public Registry PAYE Pay-as-you-earn PIT Personal income tax POA Performance outcome area PFM Public financial management SAO State Audit Office

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

legislation for a rule-based pension indexation mechanism to parliament by end-February. Pension levels are currently marginally higher than the subsistence minimum and a rules-based indexation would support inclusive growth and help reduce inequality. At the same time, the authorities agree that the fiscal implications of different alternatives need to be further assessed and are looking forward to continuing discussions with staff before submitting a proposal by end-December 2019. The authorities will provide the Georgia Revenue Service (GRS) with access to third

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

), tax administration reforms notably comprehensive reforms of Georgian Revenue Service (including through a long-term expert with support of the Revenue Mobilization Thematic Fund), accounting reform, and fiscal risks. Monetary/Financial : development of the government securities’ market, implementing IFRS 9, central bank risk management, pillar 2 and consolidated supervision, monetary policy communication, non-bank financial institutions, and a top-down stress testing framework. Legal : banking resolution framework, insolvency framework, AML/CFT assistance, and

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

enforcement of fair tax administration practices where voluntary compliance was simplified, while penalties for noncompliance became rather harsh; and (iv) modernizating the Georgian Revenue Service (GRS) structure and establishing it as a legal entity of public law or separate agency, uniting the tax and customs agencies, under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance. This format allowed the GRS to perform state functions and earn revenue from consulting and other services to the taxpayers, the proceeds of which were used for employee bonuses. Higher employee salaries served

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

unit in the audit department is operational (SB, end-June 2018). A legal amendment allowing Georgia Revenue Service (GRS) to refund tax credits without an explicit request by the taxpayer, currently under government consideration, would remove a bottleneck to refunds. The GRS will obtain access to information received by the Financial Monitoring Service (FMS) from the Monitoring Entities (FMS, new SB, end-May 2019) as well as relevant information from various government agencies to strengthen risk-based auditing. In line with international best practice, the GRS

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Recent economic developments. Economic performance remained robust in 2018: growth reached 4.7 percent, supported by external demand; inflation stayed below the three percent target, the fiscal deficit remained in line with program commitments, and the current account improved. Tighter lending standards helped decelerate credit growth towards more sustainable levels. The banking sector remains well capitalized, liquid, and profitable. Dollarization remains elevated. In early 2019, growth conditions were favorable, with average inflation slightly above the target reflecting increased excises.