Taxation, which has been a Cinderella subject in development, has finally been invited to the ball, but the arguments that have helped to push taxation up the finance-for-development agenda may also be in need of clarification.
International Monetary Fund Deputy Chief Roberto Rosales announced Monday a plan to encourage more countries to publish their economic and financial data in a timely manner, addressing concerns that essential information in developing countries and emerging markets is inaccurate and out of date. The IMF would require countries that adhere to the less stringent of two IMF data-reporting standards to publish their data according to an advance release calendar, as countries on the more stringent standards do.
The seed of today’s podcast was planted back in April 2014. That’s when Nigeria made a statistical change to the way it calculates its GDP. Overnight, Nigeria’s GDP estimate shot up by 89%, making it the biggest economy in Africa.
Last week the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority decided to fine the British branch of the Bank of Beirut over £2m for failing to establish sufficient controls to guard against the possibility of money laundering or other financial crimes.
Creating an evidence base requires good research, but how can we know if evidence is strong or weak … or even misleading? The process by which researchers conduct, document, and share their work is essential to winnowing out weak studies and to improving, honing and disseminating strong ones. At the risk of taking the metaphor too far – can we make research so transparent that anyone can see right through it?
With Raj Shah stepping down as USAID Administrator last week, many are taking stock of the numerous accomplishments during his five-year tenure at USAID. One of the unsung achievements of his term was announcing and implementing USAID’s Evaluation Policy.
Lower-income countries in general suffer the greatest shrinkage of the tax base as a result of corporate profit-shifting. In a new working paper, Simon Loretz and I find that the multinational tax bases of some lower-income countries could even be double their current size. We also find that some of the ‘tax haven’ jurisdictions that benefit most have received surprisingly little attention. Any guesses?
Consensus on the reform of international tax rules may be splintering under the combined pressures of post-crisis austerity and revelations about cut-throat tax ‘competition’ (see my discussion on this here).
Aside from lurid revelations about individual companies and the big four accounting firms, the leaks of multinationals’ tax deals with Luxembourg confirm—and expose to a wider audience—the true nature of the tax ‘competition’ that prevents the emergence of effective international rules.