This FAD mission reviewed recent progress to improve tax administration and identified areas of priority tax administration modernization for 2019–23. The MEF has been implementing the RMS, a major component of which is the strengthening of the administration of the GDT. As the RMS ends in 2018, the MEF is now developing the next phase of reforms to strengthen the revenue system of Cambodia over the period 2019 to 2023. The GDT has made significant progress with implementing the RMS measures under its responsibility, and achieved extremely positive revenue growth and collections. The GDT has completed 71 out of the 86 RMS tax administration measures; the remaining 15 are under active progress. Since 2012, the GDT has routinely exceeded its revenue targets, and year-on-year revenue growth has far exceeded the annual levels of economic growth. Cambodia’s 2017 tax-to-GDP ratio of 17.2 percent is now comparable with many regional countries.
Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Mr. Alexander D Klemm, and Yong Sarah Zhou
Cambodia, like its regional peers, offers a number of tax incentives to investors. This paper reviews these incentives to assess their costs and benefits, including their likely effectiveness in attracting capital and in supporting the diversification strategy. It finds that an important incentive, the tax holiday, differs materially from practice elsewhere in offering a deferral rather than exempting from tax and may not be very effective. Moreover, other features of the tax system, such as the high withholding rate on dividends, imply relatively high effective tax rates for foreign investors. The paper discusses potential reforms that weigh revenue and other costs of tax incentives against the need for a competitive tax system, including a shift from tax holidays toward investment allowances.
Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Ricardo Marto, Jiri Jonas, and Kaitlyn Douglass
We use a dynamic small open economy model to explore the macroeconomic impact of alternative public investment scaling-up scenarios, analyzing how improving the efficiency of capital spending and of tax revenue collection affect growth and debt sustainability for three fast-growing Southeast Asian economies: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. We show that a gradual public investment profile is more favorable than front-loading capital spending because we assume governments are able to gradually learn how to invest more efficiently, accelerating public capital accumulation and therefore growth. We discuss the pros and cons of alternative financing options and identify the financing mix that generates the best macroeconomic outcome. Sometimes overlooked, improving the efficiency of revenue collection over time may ease the burden of fiscal adjustment, achieving higher GDP growth with substantially lower debt-to-GDP ratios, and will help policymakers efficiently meet the challenge of addressing large infrastructure gaps while maintaining debt sustainability.
This paper provides a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its scope and objectives, the size and uses of the TA contribution, and assessments of its TA activities and scholarship programs—with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2009. Japan has provided grant contributions to support IMF technical assistance to member countries since 1990. In 1997, the scope of the administered account was widened to allow for financing other IMF activities in Asia and the Pacific, carried out through the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo. Regular consultations are held between the IMF and the Japanese authorities; the most recent formal meeting took place in April 2009. The use of JSA resources is flexible. JSA funds can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees.
Mr. Alexander D Klemm, Mr. Dennis P Botman, and Reza Baqir
We compare the general tax provisions and investment incentives in the Philippines to six other east-Asian economies-Malaysia, Indonesia, Lao, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. We calculate effective tax rates and find that general effective tax rates are relatively high in the Philippines, while investment incentives are comparable to those in neighboring countries. Tax holidays are most attractive for very profitable firms, creating redundancy, and for investment in short-lived assets. We also consider recently-proposed tax reforms that would replace tax holidays by a reduced corporate income tax rate or a low tax on gross receipts. The results suggest that this would result in stronger incentives to invest, while government revenue increases. Alternatively, replacing holidays with a general reduction in the corporate tax rate and offering accelerated depreciation will either not provide the same incentives or be very costly.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This evaluation examines the technical assistance (TA) provided by the IMF to its member countries. The evaluation is based on desk reviews of a broad sample of countries, analyses of cross-country data on TA, six in-depth country case studies, reviews of past evaluations, and interviews with IMF staff and other stakeholders. The objective of the IMF TA is to contribute to the development of the productive resources of member countries by enhancing the effectiveness of economic policy and financial management.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Technical assistance is one of the key services provided by the IMF to member countries—particularly lower income countries. It covers a wide set of activities, from technical assistance to support IMF policy advice to longer-term assistance to support countries’ institutional development. This evaluation report examines the relevance and effectiveness of IMF technical assistance, and derives recommendations for both IMF management and the Executive Board.
An introductory guide to the IMF’s technical assistance. Providing technical assistance to member countries-particularly developing countries and countries in transition-is at the core of the IMF’s mission. Technical assistance, which includes training for government and central banks officials, is one of the benefits of IMFmembership. It complements and enhances the IMF's other key forms of assistance, i.e., surveillance and lending. The IMF provides technical assistance mainly in its areas of expertise and responsibility: fiscal policy, monetary policy, and macroeconomic and financial statistics.
Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio, Mr. Jerald A Schiff, Mr. George T. Abed, Mr. Ronald T. McMorran, and Marijn Verhoeven
The reform of fiscal policies and institutions lies at the heart of structural adjustment in developing countries. Although the immediate aim of such reform is to reduce fiscal imbalances to achieve macroeconomic stability, the long-term goal is to secure more durable improvements in fiscal performance. This study reviews the fiscal reform experience of 36 low-income developing countries that undertook macroeconomic and structural adjustment in the context of the IMF's Structural Adjustment Facility and Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility during the period of 1985-95.