This Selected Issues paper examines the reasons behind Lithuania’s low tax-GDP ratio relative to the European Union (EU). At end-2015, Lithuania had nearly the lowest tax-GDP ratio in the EU, along with Bulgaria and Romania. The tax revenue shortfall relative to the EU is for the most part attributable to weak tax administration and tax policy, with the structure of the economy playing a secondary role. The second largest contribution to the tax revenue shortfall relative to the EU comes from social security contributions. The shortfall is driven primarily by the structure of the economy, and to a smaller extent by tax administration.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on sustainability of public finances and low inflation in Lithuania. Lithuania aims to adopt the euro in 2015. Over the medium term, inflation in Lithuania will likely run somewhat higher than in the euro area on average, but this will be driven by continuing income convergence. The long-term inflation track record is favorable, and Lithuania has demonstrated the ability to deliver adjustment when needed without recourse to exchange rate depreciation. The benign outlook for public finances and inflation is contingent on historical patterns of economic policymaking and private sector behavior remaining in place after euro adoption.
This paper reviews Lithuania’s fiscal consolidation since 2009, assesses the contribution of revenue and expenditure to the consolidation, evaluates the quality of measures, and draws lessons for the future. It finds that, despite having the lowest revenue-to-GDP ratio in the EU, Lithuania’s fiscal adjustment has so far relied mainly on expenditure measures, with the quality of measures deteriorating over time. The analysis also suggests that Lithuania’s tax system, in comparison with other EU countries and regional peers, is skewed toward labor and consumption taxes, and plays a more limited role in income redistribution, especially in the upper income brackets. The paper argues therefore that there is ample scope to implement high quality revenue measures in order to complete the fiscal adjustment in the medium term in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
This Selected Issues paper discusses Lithuania’s efforts towards a sustainable and inclusive consolidation. Lithuania has implemented fiscal measures amounting to 17 percent of GDP during 2009–2012, about half of which were frontloaded in 2009. The report shows that Lithuania’s tax system, in comparison with other European Union member countries, is skewed toward labor and consumption taxes and plays a more limited role in income redistribution, especially in the upper-income brackets. It is highlighted that the country’s fiscal adjustment since 2009 has relied mainly on expenditure measures.
This Selected Issues Paper quantifies the variability of tax elasticities in Lithuania using two alternative methods: rolling regressions and pooled mean group estimator. The analysis is motivated by the systematic variation of tax revenues observed over the economic cycle. Both methods confirm that tax elasticities moved with the cycle, which can be attributed to the procyclical tax compliance tendencies and structural composition effects across tax bases. The results of the study emphasize the importance of accounting for cyclical variation in tax elasticities when making short-term tax revenue projections.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
This paper quantifies the variability of tax elasticities in Lithuania using two alternative methods: rolling regressions and pooled mean group estimator. The analysis is motivated by the systematic variation of tax revenues observed over the economic cycle in the recent past. Both methods confirm that tax elasticities moved with the cycle, which can be attributed to the procyclical tax compliance tendencies and structural composition effects across tax bases. Comparison of VAT revenue gaps across Baltic countries during the recent recovery suggests that tax revenues rebounded fastest in Estonia, followed by Lithuania and Latvia. Overall, the results of the study emphasize the importance of accounting for cyclical variation in tax elasticities when making short-term tax revenue projections.
In Lithuania, the case for complementing the on going fiscal adjustment with revenue measures is strong. In addition to supporting the adjustment, options to raise revenue need to be tailored to enhance growth and export competitiveness. International and empirical evidence suggest important scope for revenue-enhancing tax reforms in Lithuania. Lithuania is in a position to rebalance growth towards exports. Executive Directors suggest a broad tax reform strategy that could raise revenue and tax new revenue sources while supporting growth, competitiveness, and equity to substantially bolster revenues.
This Technical Note discusses key findings of the insolvency and creditor rights assessment for Lithuania. Lithuania has made significant progress in the field of creditor rights legislation and related institutions. Under the current legal framework, the creation and registration of secured transactions is rather easy and affordable. The privatization of the bailiffs system has contributed to accelerating the recovery process and increasing the enforcement efficiency. In the area of corporate insolvency, the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law and the Law on Restructuring of Enterprises are generally consistent with international standards.
This paper discusses key findings of the Detailed Assessment Report on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for the Republic of Belarus. The assessment reveals that compliance supervision in Belarus is detailed with a strong culture of onsite examination. Two agencies exercise financial intelligence responsibilities. Money laundering offenses are investigated and successfully prosecuted. Some capacity exists to cooperate internationally. However, the legal framework is incomplete and, in some places, misdirected. Legislation criminalizing terrorist financing as a separate offense has not been adopted.