Asia and Pacific

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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report reviews the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in the Maldives and identifies policy and legal reform options to support its modernization, as well as enhancing efficiency, equity, and revenue mobilization. Despite five existing amendments to the Goods and Services Tax Act (GSTA) and 28 amendments to the associated regulations, the core parameters of the GST have barely changed in nearly 12 years. In addition, rapid changes to global business models and the increasing digitalization of the Maldivian economy have made key features of the legislation – such as place of supply rules – increasingly inadequate. The mission identified several key GST policy reforms and proposed legal redrafting recommendations that should be prioritized by the authorities in the upcoming reform window. Table 1 summarizes the potential revenue implications and implementation timeline of the main policy measures proposed.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
The Maldives has identified the estimation and regular reporting of tax expenditures (TEs) as one of the top priority areas in continuing its tax modernization process. TEs are alternative policy tools (e.g., to direct transfers and other spending measures) in the form of provisions in the tax legislation that modify the tax liability of individuals or companies. The cost of TEs should be identified, measured, and publicly reported to improve transparency in fiscal management.
Maria Delgado Coelho
The excessive complexity and burden of the Brazilian tax system, riddled by cumulative indirect taxes and heavy payroll contributions, have led to an accumulation of fiscal incentives aimed at reducing its burden on taxpayers and productive activities. Federal and subnational tax expenditures currently stand at over 5 percent of GDP. Rationalizing them can only be comprehensively feasible in the context of a broader sequenced tax reform, and could reduce resource misallocation and income inequality, as well as provide new revenues.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
In response to a request from Mr. Ignacio Briones Rojas, Minister of Finance of Chile, a remote mission was conducted by a joint team of staff from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) during April – October 2020. The mission’s main purpose was to assist the Minister of Finance with technical support to review Chile’s tax expenditure methodology and its corrective excise taxes. The present report reflects the findings of the mission. This report was written jointly by the IMF and the OECD, with the IMF team leading the work assessing tax expenditures in the corporate income tax (CIT) and the analysis of excises, and the OECD team leading the work assessing tax expenditures in the personal income tax (PIT) and value added tax (VAT). A presentation of the main findings was given to the Minister of Finance on October 6, 2020. The report incorporates comments provided by the Ministry and the Chilean Revenue Administration.
Mr. Francesco Caselli, Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Romain Lafarguette, and Changchun Wang
In this paper we propose a novel approach to obtain the predictive density of global GDP growth. It hinges upon a bottom-up probabilistic model that estimates and combines single countries’ predictive GDP growth densities, taking into account cross-country interdependencies. Speci?cally, we model non-parametrically the contemporaneous interdependencies across the United States, the euro area, and China via a conditional kernel density estimation of a joint distribution. Then, we characterize the potential ampli?cation e?ects stemming from other large economies in each region—also with kernel density estimations—and the reaction of all other economies with para-metric assumptions. Importantly, each economy’s predictive density also depends on a set of observable country-speci?c factors. Finally, the use of sampling techniques allows us to aggregate individual countries’ densities into a world aggregate while preserving the non-i.i.d. nature of the global GDP growth distribution. Out-of-sample metrics con?rm the accuracy of our approach.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper conducts a review of taxes on labor in Kazakhstan, which, despite the current relatively low level of collections, have the potential to become an important source of non-oil fiscal revenue. This paper focuses on one group of non-oil taxes, personal income tax and other taxes on labor, and reviews their effective burden, progressivity, and efficiency. These taxes are found to have limited responsiveness to oil-sector fluctuations, and thus help enhance the resilience of public finance to oil shocks. The existing labor tax system is characterized by a low, flat headline rate, limited progressivity except at the lower end of household income distribution due to deduction of the minimum wage, and a relatively high tax burden mainly born by the formal sector. Having a more equitable and efficient labor tax system would involve a targeted strategy for deductions and exemptions, expanding the tax base, and continuing to improve tax design, administration, and collection enforcement.