Collecting Taxes in Times of Crisis

Tuesday, July 21

Mr. Ruud de Mooij, Chief of the Tax Policy Division of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department
Mr. Juan Toro, Assistant Director of the Revenue Administration Division of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department

On July 21, the JVI hosted its fifth of a series focusing on the recent IMF special series on fiscal policies to respond to the COVID-19 challenges.

Most governments have responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a wide range of tax policy and administration measures, ranging from deferrals and tax filing and payment extensions, to reductions in tax rates and increased allowances or credits. At the same time, revenue authorities have the challenge of safeguarding revenue collection to ensure sufficient financing for increased government spending programs. Further, the crisis may provide important opportunities for steering the revenue system in a new desirable direction, beyond the immediate crisis response.

The distinguished panelists elaborated on important tax-related questions. What temporary and permanent revenue policy measures are recommended? How can revenue authorities support government COVID-19 crisis responses, safeguard tax revenue and tackle compliance issues? How can staff and taxpayers be protected while the operation of the revenue system is maintained? How can the transition back to a normal functioning of the revenue system be managed? And what are policy options available to emerging economies?

The webinar focused on the particularities of revenue administration depending on the stage of COVID-related restrictions. It also demonstrated the likely need for future tax increases in response to a soaring public debt. The polls with the audience as well as the Q&A session, however, focusing on wealth taxation as one policy option, evidenced the difficulty of finding appropriate solutions to this challenge.

The following notes from the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department served as a basis for the presentations:

“Tax Issues: An Overview” (English / Russian). 

“Tax and Customs Administration Responses” (English / Russian

“Business Continuity for Revenue Administrations” (English / Russian)

“Revenue Administration: Reinvigorating Operations to Safeguard Collection and Compliance” (English / Russian)

The webinar was opened by Thomas Richardson, JVI Director.

Moderation was provided by Barbara Dutzler and Tatiana Evdokimova (both JVI)

Barbara Dutzler, Senior Economist, JVI


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