Azeri Minister of Taxes Outlines New Challenges

AzerbaijanIn a recent article for the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations (IOTA), Azeri Minister of Taxes Fazil Mammadov analyzed the new challenges faced by Azerbaijan’s Tax Service due to sluggish global growth and its negative impact on resource economies. He depicted Azerbaijan’s response in terms of developing a sustainable national economy.

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2017 Index of Economic Freedom

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Source: 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, Interactive Heat Map (The Heritage Foundation) 

On 15 February, the Heritage Foundation published its annual report entitled, 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, comparing the performance of 186 economies. One key factor influencing the conclusions and rankings is the Tax Burden parameter of the Government Size performance measurement criterion. Continue reading “2017 Index of Economic Freedom”

Uzbekistan Reform Agenda

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Investors are showing a renewed interest in the post-Karimov reform agenda in Uzbekistan, the guidelines for which have been detailed by President Mirziyoyev in several recent decrees and the implementing instructions of 14 February 2017. His decree of 7 February “on the Action Strategy for the Further Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan 2017-2021” and the related documents may be accessed here. Continue reading “Uzbekistan Reform Agenda”

ITIC Participates as Observer in IOTA General Assembly

ITIC Senior Advisor Douglas Townsend participated as an Observer in the 20th General Assembly of the Intra-European Organization of Tax Administrations (IOTA) held on 7-8 July 2016 in Bucharest, under the Presidency of the Romanian National Agency for Fiscal Administration. Heads of tax administrations from 46 countries and representatives of 11 international organizations attended, along with representatives from the IMF and OECD, among others.

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Kazakhstan: Tax Update

Tax and Customs Code Unification

During a press briefing last week with visiting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov stated that the Kazakh Government does not intend to speed up the work on unifying the Tax and Customs Codes, noting that, “We have developed a new Tax Code, which is likely to be aligned with the Customs Code. Initially we planned to have come up with concrete decisions this year, but now we have decided that we need about one year to make a final decision.”
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Azerbaijan: April Tax and Investment Update

Further to our February update, below is a summary of ongoing debates and tax developments in Azerbaijan.

In late February, the Parliament confirmed the “package” of investment-promoting preferences and exemptions valid over seven years in respect of PIT/CIT/VAT/Property & Land Taxes, as well as Customs Duties, for entities and individuals granted an Investment Promotion Certificate (IPC). Continue reading “Azerbaijan: April Tax and Investment Update”

Reforming the Tax System in Ukraine

On 9 March, ITIC President Daniel Witt and Senior Advisor Douglas Townsend attended a roundtable discussion in London on Reforming the tax system in Ukraine: Defining a roadmap to improve the business climate, sponsored by EY, Adam Smith Conferences, and the UK TaxPayers’ Alliance.

The roundtable, chaired by ITIC Board member Chris Sanger (Global Head of Tax Policy, EY) featured keynote presentations by the renowned economist Arthur Laffer and Ms. Nina Iuzhanina, who chairs the Verkhovna Rada’s Tax and Customs Policy Committee in Ukraine.

The roundtable discussed the potential of tax reform to help ameliorate (if not reverse) Ukraine’s precarious economic state. The consensus of the discussion was that the December 2015 tax reform would fall short; that further tax reform would be inescapable; and that it must be part of wider public policy reforms if real progress were to be achieved.

Azerbaijan: Tax and Investment Update

On 29 January 2016, the World Bank made an important announcement related to the IMF/World Bank mission to Azerbaijan. The Bank’s statement read in part:

In response to numerous media inquiries, the World Bank would like to clarify the following: 
The World Bank is discussing with the Government of Azerbaijan a set of medium- and long-term measures to move to a new private-sector led growth model and increase the country’s resilience to external shocks, including low oil prices and pressure on the local currency. The Government of Azerbaijan is developing a comprehensive program of structural reforms, and the World Bank, as a long-term development partner of Azerbaijan, stands ready to provide necessary support.

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