Death and Taxes May be Certain—But Taxes We Can Make Better

2017-04-14T02:15:40-04:00October 15, 2013|

Mick KeenBy Michael Keen

(Version in Español)

Benjamin Franklin famously said these are the only things that we can be sure will happen to us. Certainly taxation has been much to the fore of public debate in the last few years. The latest Fiscal Monitor takes a close look at where tax systems now stand, and where they might, and should be headed. Can we tax better, could we—if we wanted to—raise more revenue, and how does fairness come into it?

A better way to tax

The IMF’s broad advice on the revenue side of consolidation is straightforward.

  • Before raising rates, broaden bases by scaling back exemptions and special treatments, and thereby getting more people and entities to pay taxes;
  • Rely more on taxing consumption rather than labor;
  • Strengthen property taxes; and
  • Seize opportunities to raise revenue while correcting environmental and other distortions by, not least, carbon pricing (to address climate and other pollution challenges).

[…]

Still Some Hurdles On The Fiscal Path

2017-04-14T02:15:53-04:00October 9, 2013|

Martine GuerguilBy Martine Guerguil

(Versions in 中文, Français日本語, Русский, and Español)

Five years into the crisis, the fiscal landscape remains challenging. On the positive side, deficit-cutting efforts and the first signs of recovery reduced the fiscal stress felt in many advanced economies; but debt ratios often remain at historical peaks. At the same time, slowing growth and rising borrowing costs, combined with unabated demands for improved public services, puts pressure on government budgets in emerging market economies.

So we created  an index of ‘fiscal difficulty’ that shows the biggest challenge ahead for advanced economies is to maintain budget surpluses until debt ratios return to lower levels.  We expect this will take several years.

[…]

Lagarde: Women Can Help Grow the World Economy

2017-04-14T02:16:21-04:00September 23, 2013|

(Versions in Español and عربي)

Hot off the press: a new study out today from our economists pointing to the striking economic benefits that could come from increased female participation in the work force.

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, calling attention to the findings of the paper, “Women, Work, and the Economy,” made the case for policymakers to shift into high gear and give women equal opportunities to participate in the work force.

[…]

Can Policymakers Stem Rising Income Inequality?

2017-04-15T14:04:59-04:00June 28, 2012|

The issue of rising income inequality is now at the forefront of public debate. There is growing concern as to the economic and social consequences of the steady, and often sharp, increase in the share of income captured by higher income groups. While much of the discussion focuses on the factors driving the rise in inequality—including globalization, labor market reforms, and technological changes that favor higher-skilled workers—a more pressing issue is what can be done about it.

India’s Slowdown May Have a Silver Lining

2017-04-15T14:07:35-04:00May 24, 2012|

India's long-run challenges have turned into short-run problems. Supply constraints, particular in power, mining and land, have become increasingly binding. As these constraints have raised costs and inflation, investor sentiment has suffered. But other measures to remove bottlenecks also matter, such as streamlining taxation and facilitating business investment via additional financial reforms.

Bringing the Informal Sector into the Fold

2017-04-15T14:15:56-04:00November 16, 2011|

The informal economy is large and pervasive—and, often, ignored; however, the experience of those who work in the informal sector came under the media spotlight when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire that fateful day in December last year, sparking the Arab Spring protests.
Go to Top