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Avoiding the pitfalls in taxing financial intermediation

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  • Honohan, Patrick

Abstract

Enthusiasts for financial sector tax reform typically come either with some form of"flat tax"(including value added tax on financial services, zero taxation on capital income, or a universal transactions tax) or advocating corrective taxes designed to offset market failures or achieve other targeted objectives. As a result the tax systems in most countries often end up with a complex mixture. Honohan argues that practical policy for taxation of the financial sector needs to take into account two key features of the sector: its capacity for arbitrage and its sensitivity to inflation and thus to nonindexed taxes. Where these aspects have been neglected, poorly constructed tax systems-whether the consequence of a drive for revenue or of misdirected sophistication-often have sizable unexpected side effects. A defensive stance making the minimization of such distortions as its cornerstone is the best policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Honohan, Patrick, 2003. "Avoiding the pitfalls in taxing financial intermediation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3056, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3056
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Constanza Martínez Ventura, 2005. "Una revisión empírica sobre los determinantes del margen de intermediación en Colombia, 1989-2003," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 23(48), pages 118-183, Junio.
    2. John H. Boyd & Bruce A. Champ, 2003. "Inflation and financial market performance: what have we learned in the last ten years," Working Paper 0317, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. Constanza Martínez Ventura, 2005. "Una Revisión Empírica Sobre Los Determinantes Del Margen De Intermediación En Colombia, 1989-2003," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 23(48), pages 118-183, June.
    4. European Commission, 2010. "Tax Policy after the Crisis: Monitoring Tax Revenues and Tax Reforms in EU Member States 2010 Report," Taxation Papers 24, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.

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