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.
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: advantages and disadvantages of different types of depositor preference, international best practice and experience in adopting depositor preference, and introducing depositor preference in jurisdictions with or without deposit insurance.
Ms. Corinne C Delechat, Lama Kiyasseh, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, and Rui Xu
This study analyzes the drivers of the use of formal vs. informal financial services in emerging and developing countries using the 2017 Global FINDEX data. In particular, we investigate whether individuals’ choice of financial services correlates with macro-financial and macro-structural policies and conditions, in addition to individual and country characteristics. We start our analysis on middle and low-income countries, and then zoom in on sub-Saharan Africa, currently the region that most relies on informal financial services, and which has the largest uptake of mobile banking. We find robust evidence of an association between macroprudential policies and individuals’ choice of financial access after controlling for personal and country-level characteristics. In particular, macroprudential policies aimed at controlling credit supply seem to be associated with greater resort to informal financial services compared with formal, bank-based access. This highlights the importance for central bankers and financial sector regulators to consider the potential spillovers of monetary policy and financial stability measures on financial inclusion.
This Technical Assistance Report on Zambia highlights the dissemination of external sector statistics during the Department for International Development—Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative 2 Project Module 1. The mission recommended breakdowns in the International investment position (IIP) table that are of analytical relevance, such as government securities issued abroad and issued domestically, and loan liabilities of the government and other sectors. The integrated IIP is key to verifying the consistency between the positions, the transactions, and other changes. The accuracy of the components within the international reserves in the balance of payments and in the IIP can be further improved. Valuations changes in positions are being included in the balance of payments for some components, such as government external debt and reserve assets, and should be removed from transactions. In order to support progress in different work areas, the mission recommended a detailed action plan with several priority recommendations.