Coordinating tax reforms in the poorest countries : can lost tariffs be recouped ?
AbstractA revenue-neutral switch from trade taxes to domestic consumption taxes is fraught with implementation challenges in countries with a large informal sector. It is shown for a sample of low-income countries over 25 years that they have had a mixed record of offsetting reductions in trade tax revenue. The paper then analyzes the specific case of Nepal, using a unique data set compiled from unpublished customs records of imports, tariffs and all other taxes levied at the border. It estimates changes to revenue and domestic production associated with two sets of reforms: i) proportional tariff cuts coordinated with a strictly enforced value-added tax; and ii) proposed tariff cuts under a regional free trade agreement. It is shown that a revenue-neutral tax reform is conditional on the effectiveness with which domestic taxes are enforced. Furthermore, loss of revenue as a result of intra-regional free trade can be minimized through judicious use of Sensitive Lists that still cover substantially all the trade as required by Article XXIV of the GATT.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5919.
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Debt Markets; Trade Policy; Economic Theory&Research; Free Trade; International Trade and Trade Rules;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2012-01-03 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2012-01-03 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2012-01-03 (Public Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.