Tax Policy and Administration - Theory and Practice

This new course, presented by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, aims at broadening participants’ knowledge of the main challenges facing governments in the design, administration, and monitoring of a modern tax system. It briefly outlines the theoretical underpinnings of tax policymaking, and discusses in detail its practice and implementation with a particular emphasis on the region. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and develop strategies to improve key elements of their tax systems and how they administer them. The course contains lectures and workshop sessions. More specifically, it will: 

• provide an overview of policy design principles and their implications for tax administration—establishing linkages between tax policy and administration and how each function feeds into the other; 

• present an overview of key design issues for major taxes that form modern tax systems (e.g.,  broad-base consumption and income taxes, property taxes, small business tax regimes), and discuss approaches to tax policy making in various economic settings (e.g., countries rich in natural resources versus others); 

• discuss tax administration organization issues, by drawing on experiences from the region and other countries; and 

• examine the challenges of tax administration in general, and in particular for the various taxes forming a modern tax system. 

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to: 

• Summarize key tax policy design principles and their implications for tax administrations, including establishing linkages between tax policy and administration; how each function feeds into the other; and how such principles may differ in various economic settings (e.g. countries rich in natural resources versus others). 

• Identify the core elements of the major taxes that form modern tax systems (e.g., broad-base consumption and income taxes, property taxes, small business tax regimes). 

• Describe and analyze tax administration organization issues, principal functions, and key challenges in their reform. 

• Assess tax policy and administration from different perspectives, including: a holistic approach, a microapproach (e.g., by tax source), and/or by tax administration function.