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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report presents the results of applying the Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) value-added tax (VAT) gap estimation methodology1 to Poland for the period 2010–16. The RA-GAP methodology employs a top-down approach for estimating the potential VAT base, using statistical data from national accounts on value-added generated in each sector. There are two main components to this methodology for estimating the VAT gap: 1) estimate the potential VAT collections for a given period; and 2) determine the accrued VAT collections for that period. The difference between the two values is the VAT gap. RA-GAP provides estimates of the two components of the tax gap: the compliance gap and the policy gap. The compliance gap is the difference between the potential VAT that could have been collected given the current policy framework and actual accrued VAT collections. The policy gap is the difference between the overall tax gap and the compliance gap. To put the level and trends of the compliance gap into context it is also necessary to analyze the level and trends of the overall tax gap and the policy gap.
La-Bhus Fah Jirasavetakul and Jesmin Rahman
FDI has played a strong role in the export-led growth of eastern European countries that are now members of the European Union (EU). Largely sourced from advanced Europe, FDI inflows were motivated by the intention to pursue new markets and cost efficiency. Over time, foreign investment has restructured the exports sector in these countries in favor of products that are considered more technology-intensive. As these countries face skills shortage and rising wages, what is needed for FDI to continue playing a strong role? Can the Western Balkan countries, who are not yet EU members and have in recent years stepped up financial incentives and policy initiatives to court investors, emulate the experience? This paper takes stock of the FDI experience of both these groups and tries to estimate their potential gains from additional policy efforts.
Philip Daniel, Alan Krupnick, Ms. Thornton Matheson, Mr. Peter J. Mullins, Ian W.H. Parry, and Artur Swistak
This paper suggests that the environmental and commercial features of shale gas extraction do not warrant a significantly different fiscal regime than recommended for conventional gas. Fiscal policies may have a role in addressing some environmental risks (e.g., greenhouse gases, scarce water, local air pollution) though in some cases their net benefits may be modest. Simulation analyses suggest, moreover, that special fiscal regimes are generally less important than other factors in determining shale gas investments (hence there appears little need for them), yet they forego significant revenues.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Georgia’s Request for Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility and Cancellation of Stand-by Arrangement (SBA). The authorities in Georgia have formulated a comprehensive program to preserve macro and financial stability and advance structural reforms to bolster growth. The program envisions fiscal consolidation over the medium term, anchored in keeping debt at its current level while shifting spending toward capital investment to address infrastructure bottlenecks. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for the approval of the three-year Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility and the cancellation of the SBA arrangement.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper describes mainly the introduction and performance of the Extended Fund Facility program for Pakistan. Since the start of the program in September 2013, economic growth has gradually recovered, inflation has fallen to low single digits, foreign reserve buffers have been rebuilt, social safety nets have been strengthened, and the fiscal deficit has significantly declined (although public debt remains high). Despite setbacks in privatization earlier in the year due to labor unrest and political opposition, the authorities remain committed to returning ailing public sector enterprises to a sound financial position, including through private participation, and to completing energy sector reform.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses key issues related to the economy of Poland. Thanks to its sound policies, close links to the German supply chain, and substantial EU transfers, Poland is the only country in the European Union that avoided an outright recession during the global financial crisis. However, this strong performance has masked enduring regional disparities, which are undermining the quality of growth. Poland faces significant long-term challenges as an aging population weighs on potential growth and public finances. The new government, which took office in November, has approved a Responsible Development Plan, focused on spurring growth through innovation and reducing social and regional disparities.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Poland has recovered from the 2012–13 slowdown. Growth accelerated to 3.4 percent in 2014, and further to 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015, on the back of buoyant domestic demand, supported by improving labor market and financial conditions. However, inflation has remained negative since July 2014 owing to low commodity prices and weak imported inflation. The outlook is for continued robust growth and subdued inflation amid downside risks. Economic expansion is expected to continue, with growth projected at 3.5 percent in 2015 and over the medium term.