Tracking Alcohol and Oil Production

The 2017 ITIC study on the development of modern revenue controls on alcoholic beverages concluded that, although there are some advantages to the introduction of these systems, tax stamps and the related checking equipment are a sub-optimal policy choice and should not be considered a stand-alone solution. Instead, the goals of curbing the illicit trade in alcohol and protecting tax revenues require a much wider package of effective monitoring, control, and enforcement measures.

Fiscal markers for hydrocarbon oil products can be very useful in enabling revenue authorities to track the flow of the different products through the supply chain to the retail stage with mobile units carrying out random tests to establish the authentic nature of the product at the retail sales point. These, too, need to be part of a comprehensive anti-illicit trade strategy that should include public awareness and support programmes as well as a national enforcement plan.

The Astana Time recently ran an article reporting on the new system Kazakhstan has launched to track alcohol and oil products:


Liz Allen is a Program Advisor for the International Tax and Investment Center, based in the United Kingdom.

Update on Tax Reform in the Philippines

philippines-2697268_1280The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) is the first tax reform package of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.

In its current form, the TRAIN bill will reduce personal income tax rates, address personal income tax “bracket creep,” amend the estate tax, expand the value-added tax base, and remove a number of exemptions currently contained in the value-added tax. It also calls for increased taxes on fuel, new vehicles and coal, and introduces a new tax on sweetened beverages and cosmetics. Continue reading “Update on Tax Reform in the Philippines”

Digital Revolutions in Public Finance: A New Book by the IMF

IMF-Digital Revolutions in Public FinanceWith funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its latest book, entitled, “Digital Revolutions in Public Finance,” at a launch event in Washington, DC on 7 November. The book, edited by Sanjeev Gupta, Michael Keen, Alpa Shah and Geneviève Verdier, captures the research originally presented at the Digital Revolutions in Public Finance Forum held during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2017, and focuses on the opportunities offered by digital transformation and the issues which must be confronted in implementing such initiatives in both developed and developing countries.  Continue reading “Digital Revolutions in Public Finance: A New Book by the IMF”

Tax & Investment: Some International Comparisons

ITIC continues to monitor comparative annual studies that analyze progress in economic reform, as a means of attracting foreign investment. Some findings of the ‘bell-wether’ World Bank report, entitled, Doing Business (2018): Measuring Business Regulations (published on 31 October), are set out below for select economies in which ITIC operates. Continue reading “Tax & Investment: Some International Comparisons”

IEITI Tax Roundtable


On 15 October 2017, ITIC joined with the Iraq Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (IEITI) to organize a roundtable on taxation at the Oil Cultural Centre in Baghdad.

The meeting, co-chaired by Mr. Alaa Mohedain (Secretary General of IEITI) and Dr. Azez Jafar Hassan (ITIC Senior Advisor), included participation by Dr. Sabah Shibeeb (Advisor to the Ministry of Oil); representatives from PCLD, Economic Department, and Research Department; Ms. Najiha Abases (Director General of the General Commission for Taxes); Directors General of the National Oil Companies; IEITI members, and ITIC working group members. Continue reading “IEITI Tax Roundtable”

India GST Implementation – An Update

borders-2099205_1280After 11 long years, GST has finally become a reality in India. Implementing GST provides an opportunity to remove (or at least mitigate) the weaknesses that both the Centre and States faced with the existing indirect tax structure.

With GST, the cascading of tax will almost be eliminated and compliance costs will be minimised — first by reducing the multiplicity of taxes and then by bringing in technology for taxpayers and taxmen to interact. Transportation and logistics costs will also be drastically reduced, and inter-State check posts will be removed, thereby providing a country-wide Common Economic Market. Finally, GST is a destination-based consumption tax that will pave the way for industry development through improved infrastructure, road networks, and power stations expected to be built with the extra revenue that will go to the States. Continue reading “India GST Implementation – An Update”