We review the current state of the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s tax coordination framework, against the main objectives of the WAEMU Treaty of 1994: reduce distortions to intra-community trade, and mobilize domestic tax revenue. The process of tax coordination in WAEMU is one of the most advanced in the world—de jure at least—, but remains in many areas ineffective de facto. Nevertheless, the framework has, to some extent, succeeded in converging tax systems, particularly statutory tax rates, and may have contributed to improving revenue mobilisation. Important lessons can be drawn from the WAEMU experience, particularly in terms of whether coordination should take the form of harmonization through a top-down approach, or a softer approach of sharing best practice and limiting certain types of tax competition.
Ding Ding, Samira Kalla, Mr. Manuel Rosales Torres, and Abdoul Karim Sidibé
The pervasive use of tax incentives is costly for the Caribbean countries, yet the benefits seem limited. Better policy coordination at the regional level is needed to help overcome the collective action problems and generate more revenue to support the much-needed infrastructure investment. Using the region’s Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) programs as an example, we also show that a price-quantity coordination mechanism can help achieve an efficient outcome with greater CBI incomes for member countries.