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Developing countries to learn how to strengthen tax systems through World Bank/IMF initiative

By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter

Developing countries will have the opportunity to strengthen their tax systems, through a new initiative  which the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are launching.

The announcement precedes a discussion among heads of state, civil society organizations, multilateral institutions and private sector representatives on how to boost finances to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That  discussion will happen during the Financing for Development conference in Addis, Ethiopia this week.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says, “A strong revenue base is imperative if developing countries are to be able to finance the spending they need on public services, social support and infrastructure, but experience shows that with well-targeted external technical support and sufficient political will, it can be done.”

In tandem with countries’ demands, the IMF/World Bank effort has two objectives: deepening the dialogue with developing countries on international tax issues to help increase their influence in the international debate on tax rules and cooperation; and developing tools to help member countries evaluate and strengthen their tax policies.

The World Bank and IMF also plan to  develop new methodologies where needed, to help member countries identify priority tax reforms and design the requisite support for their implementation. This effort would complement the launch of the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) in November.

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