Nadine Schwarz, Ms. Kristel Poh, Ms. Ke Chen, Ms. Grace Jackson, Kathleen Kao, Ms. Francisca Fernando, and Maksym Markevych
The purpose of this note is to discuss the necessary anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures and provide examples of practical solutions to implement them. In June 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) noted that both the public and private sectors have made progress in the implementation of the standards for virtual assets (VA), in particular through updates to national laws and the development of solutions to assist with the travel rule. However, challenges remain; many virtual asset service providers (VASPs) are only beginning to adopt the required AML/CFT measures, a number of jurisdictions are yet to implement the standards for VA and those that have are at the early stages of developing a supervisory regime for VASPs. At the time of drafting, no country had been assessed against the new standards and many country authorities were in the process of establishing how best to incorporate the new standards in their AML/CFT framework. For these reasons, this note does not refer to specific country examples. References to specific products and projects are made for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of these initiatives. This Fintech Note is based on the FATF standards and guidance, in particular those aspects that pertain to VA and VASPs.
This technical note addresses the following questions: • What are the main ways in which different countries assess and collect personal income tax (PIT) and social insurance contributions (SIC) liabilities (Section I)? • What is the case for transferring responsibility for a country’s SIC collection from its social insurance agency(ies) to its tax authority (Section II)? • What changes does such integration of collection functions involve (Section III)? • Are there any lessons from international experience to guide such reforms (Section IV)? • How to build on these lessons when planning a transfer of collection functions (Section V)? • Are there any beneficial alternatives to full integration of functions (Section VI)?
Patrick Petit, Mario Mansour, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Fighting the obesity epidemic has so far proven a difficult challenge, given the diversity of natural and processed foods, the complexity of food supply chains, and the fact that targeting excessive caloric consumption is far trickier than reducing overall consumption (as for tobacco). Nevertheless, efforts to curb caloric intake are gearing up and the experience from tobacco control has drawn much attention on a potential role for excise taxes in fighting obesity. Many related questions have therefore been raised as part of the IMF’s capacity development work: Should excises on unhealthy food be used to fight obesity? If so, under what conditions? What are the product and market characteristics that would help identify the relevant tax bases and the rates at which to tax them? While acknowledging that the scientific evidence keeps evolving, this note summarizes the ongoing debate and practice on food excises and on their potential role as a policy tool to fight the obesity epidemic, with a view to assist policymakers in deciding whether to go forward, and if so, how.How to Apply Excise Taxes to Fight Obesity
Ms. Marianne Bechara, Wouter Bossu, Ms. Yan Liu, and Arthur Rossi
Fintech presents unique opportunities for central banks. The rapid changes in technology that are transforming the financial system will allow central banks to enhance the execution of various of their core functions, such as currency issuance and payment systems. But some aspects of fintech pose major challenges. Central banks have always been at the cutting edge of financial technology and innovation. In the past, the invention of the banknote, the processing of payments through debits and credits in book-entry accounts, and the successive transitions of interbank payment systems from the telegraph to internet protocols were all transformative innovations. Today, central banks are facing new and unprecedented challenges: distributed ledger technology, new data analytics (artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning), and cloud computing, along with a wider spread of mobile access and increased internet speed and bandwidth. The purpose of this note is to discuss the authors’ preliminary views on how, from a legal perspective, central banks can best deal with the impact of fintech on their governance. These preliminary views are based on a review of central banks’ reaction thus far to the challenges posed by fintech to the legal foundations of their governance.
José Garrido, Ms. Yan Liu, Joseph Sommer, and Juan Sebastián Viancha
This note explores the interactions between new technologies with key areas of commercial law and potential legal changes to respond to new developments in technology and businesses. Inspired by the Bali Fintech Agenda, this note argues that country authorities need to closely examine the adequacy of their legal frameworks to accommodate the use of new technologies and implement necessary legal reform so as to reap the benefits of fintech while mitigating risks. Given the cross-border nature of new technologies, international cooperation among all relevant stakeholders is critical. The note is structured as follows: Section II describes the relations between technology, business, and law, Section III discusses the nature and functions of commercial law; Section IV provides a brief overview of developments in fintech; Section V examines the interaction between technology and commercial law; and Section VI concludes with a preliminary agenda for legal reform to accommodate the use of new technologies.
It is generally difficult to measure revenue not collected due to noncompliance, but a growing number of countries now regularly produce and publish estimated revenue losses. Good tax gap analysis enables the detection of changes in taxpayer behavior by consistent estimates over time. This Technical Note sets out the theoretical concepts for personal income tax (PIT) gap estimation, the different measurement approaches available, and their implications for the scope and presentation of statistics. The note also focuses on the practical steps for measuring the PIT gap by establishing a random audit program to collect data, and how to scale findings from the sample to the population.
Fazeer Sheik Rahim, Mr. Claude P Wendling, and Ms. Eliko Pedastsaar
Expenditure baseline projections (hereafter, “base¬lines”) are a key analytical concept in budget preparation that refers to estimates of future expenditure on the assumption that current policies remain unchanged. They serve as reference points against which other data, such as proposed or approved budgets, or expenditure ceilings, can be compared. In many countries they are a basic tool for starting the preparation of the budget. They represent neither future spending allocations nor total expected outturn as they do not incorporate estimates of the cost of new policies and the expected impact of saving measures. Other features of baselines are that they are generally produced over a multiyear period, they can be calcu¬lated at any level or form of the budget classification (that is, ministries, economic classification, specific policies, functions or programs), and can be summed up to higher levels (such as the whole budget). Hence, they can be useful at both a micro and an aggregate level. This note aims to clarify and establish a framework that covers baselines’ various purposes and uses. It first discusses the definition and objectives of baselines and the methodology used for producing them before outlining how they should be prepared. It concludes with a discussion of the key success factors for making the most effective use of baselines.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper examines the impact of the World Bank on the financial markets and developing countries. The sound financial structure of the Bank rests on its conservative loan-to-capital ratio. Its large liquidity is an assurance to investors in Bank bonds that their investments are assured of liquidity in case the need arises. To cope with their payments difficulties, the heavily indebted developing countries have adopted more cautious fiscal and monetary policies, limited wage increases, and reduced domestic consumption and investment.