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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines implications of capital account liberalization in Iceland. Capital controls were critical in 2008 to avoid a more severe collapse of the Icelandic economy. Six years later, capital inflows have been liberalized, but most outflows remain restricted. Iceland has used the breathing room to reduce flow and stock vulnerabilities, strengthen institutions, and prepare for the lifting of capital controls. Simulations using the central bank’s Quarterly Macroeconomic Model (QMM) suggest that, compared with the 2008 crisis episode, the economy can better withstand the impact of an abrupt removal of capital controls. However, the outcome would be dependent on a number of factors, including resident depositor behavior.
Ms. Thornton Matheson and Mr. Pall Kollbeins
In contrast to most Scandinavian countries, Iceland allocates the income of closely held businesses (CHBs) between capital and labor based on administratively set minimum wages rather than an imputed return to book assets.  This paper  contrasts the relative tax burdens of the current minimum wage system with asset-based allocation methods, and finds that switching to an asset-based method could increase tax revenues from CHBs in a generally progressive manner.  Predictably, the shift would also raise the tax burden of skilled labor-intensive industries more than it would that of capital-intensive industries.
International Monetary Fund
The Icelandic government has launched a review of the tax system, with a view to improving its income redistribution, growth orientation, and efficiency features, as well as increasing its revenue mobilization potential. It aims at minimizing detrimental effects on employment and growth, and at removing inconsistencies with international practices. The tax measures will boost the revenue potential in line with the government’s objectives while substantially increasing income redistribution. The Icelandic Corporate Index Tax would benefit from adopting financial accounting as the basis to determine taxable income.
Tehmina S. Khan and Mr. John Norregaard
This paper provides an overview of the key economic factors that shape tax policy reform in many high-income countries, developing countries, and/or transition economies. The paper describes and evaluates global and regional developments with respect to tax rates and revenue ratios over the last some 20 years, and discusses selected structural reform initiatives that have been high on the policy agenda over this period. In particular, it focuses on developments relating to experiments with the restructuring of corporate tax, the impact of corporate taxes on FDI, key reform initiatives including dual income taxes and flat taxes, as well as the worldwide spread of the VAT and policy developments associated with climate change and natural resource taxation.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Lithuania discusses structure of the financial sector, banking system vulnerabilities, and challenges. Rapid credit growth has been channeled into consumer and real estate lending, and is increasingly financed by foreign borrowing. The financial soundness indicators (FSIs) suggest a sound banking system, but may be lagging measure for financial system health. The current stress tests do not include a scenario with an economy-wide recession that could describe broader systemic risks to the banking system.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper estimates the potential output and the associated nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment in the euro area. The study presents a conceptual framework for analyzing currency movements, and highlights the transmission of import price shocks on consumer prices. The paper compares different measures of trend money growth, and analyzes the monetary conditions. The study describes the stability and growth pact, outlines a simple framework for studying fiscal policy behavior, and estimates European Union countries' past cyclical fiscal policy responses to output growth fluctuations.