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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.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The key policy challenges facing countries in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe remain broadly unchanged, among them supporting domestic demand, addressing financial crisis legacies, rebuilding buffers against external shocks, and improving the business environment. Country-specific priorities depend on how far along they are in the postcrisis adjustment and their exposure to external risks.

International Monetary Fund
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.
Mr. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, Mr. Alun H. Thomas, Ms. Tessa Van der Willigen, Ms. Uma Ramakrishnan, S. Reichold, Mr. Juan Zalduendo, and Mr. James P Walsh
This paper focuses on the fact that the 2004–2005 conditionality review expands to include a review of the application of the new Guidelines on Conditionality, adopted in 2002. These guidelines were the culmination of a comprehensive and far-reaching review of conditionality that aimed to enhance the effectiveness of IMF-supported programs. They represented the first revision of the IMF’s conditionality guidelines since 1979, and were developed by the IMF after seeking input from civil society and public forums held in several countries. This review comes at an early stage of experience with the new guidelines, and further evidence will be needed before definite conclusions can be drawn. The ultimate test of conditionality is whether it contributes to better economic outcomes, including over the medium term, and these cannot yet be gauged. Moreover, although this review draws in part on case studies, no substitute exists for cross-country analysis for identifying broad trends, and at this stage such analysis is hampered by small sample sizes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper develops an endogenous growth model of the influence of public investment, public transfers, and distortionary taxation on the rate of economic growth. The growth–enhancing effects of investment in public capital and transfer payments are modeled, as is the growth–inhibiting influence of the levying of distortionary taxes that are used to fund such expenditure. The theoretical implications of the model are then tested with data from 23 developed countries between 1971 and 1988, and time series cross sectional results are obtained that support the proposed influence of the public finance variables on economic growth.
International Monetary Fund
This paper highlights the significance of open-economy considerations in the analysis of tax reforms. It focuses on domestic and international consequences of revenue-neutral conversion between income and value-added tax systems. The principal result is that the direction of changes in key macroeconomic variables consequent on such tax conversions depends critically on the current account position. For example, a conversion from an income to a value-added tax system lowers the world interest rate if the country adopting the reform runs a surplus in the current account of its balance of payments, and vice versa.