Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
In 2008, Madagascar reformed its domestic tax system. Because the excise duties and VAT regimes were reformed, the taxation of imports has changed. This paper quantifies how the reform changes the protection against imports and the fiscal revenues from taxation of imports. It shows that, even if the reform has only a limited impact on the average rate of protection, it substantially alters the structure of protection across goods. Moreover, because the reform further increases the already high rate of taxation of imports, it will also boost revenue from taxes on imports and reduce the fiscal losses from the SADC FTA.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix discusses initial performance and other issues relating to the implementation of the value-added tax in Mauritius in 1998. The paper highlights that as the Mauritius economy has continued to expand at a relatively rapid pace, the need for the monetary authorities to enhance their ability to influence domestic liquidity, as well as to ensure the integrity of the banking system, has become increasingly apparent. The paper also analyzes various issues in the banking sector of Mauritius.
Stock and bond issues and capital markets in less developed countries (LDCs) have recently received increasing attention from policymakers, and this preliminary study provides a cross-country survey of the actual experience of LDCs in this respect. Capital markets in LDCs are markedly underdeveloped, reflecting a combination of historical circumstances, current level of economic and financial development, and government policy—including inflation and low interest rates on government debt. Through its regulatory powers, the government can do much to reduce uncertainty (and, hence, risk). Supervising capital markets has several dimensions: preventing fraud; improving information; reducing transactions costs; and developing capital market techniques and institutions. Information on the Brazilian experience includes the fact that a strong, self-sustained capital market has not yet been established, despite the gains made. Tax incentives do provide a way of promoting capital market development, but the benefits of initial development must be judged in terms of the cost of tax receipts forgone.