The International Monetary Fund and Tax Reform

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 75

30 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2004 Last revised: 8 Jan 2009

See all articles by Miranda Stewart

Miranda Stewart

University of Melbourne - Law School; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Sunita Jogarajan

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Since the early 1980s, tax reform projects in developing countries have been significantly influenced by international institutions, most importantly the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This article examines the role of the IMF in tax reform. We analyse tax conditionality in IMF structural adjustment documentation made publicly available since 1997, including nearly 500 Letters of Intent and Policy Framework Papers. We survey the tax reform goals, conditions and benchmarks in these documents and review the example of structural adjustment documentation for Ghana. We also discuss the importance of IMF technical assistance in tax reform. The article takes a critical view of the IMF "mass produced" approach to tax reform. We highlight the lack of attention paid to domestic issues of equity and politics in many of these tax reform projects and place this critique in the context of the problematic international politics of tax conditionality.

Keywords: tax, International Monetary Fund, tax reform, developing countries, Ghana

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Miranda and Jogarajan, Sunita, The International Monetary Fund and Tax Reform (2004). U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 75. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=556684

Miranda Stewart (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 6544 (Phone)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://crawford.anu.edu.au/people/academic/miranda-stewart

Sunita Jogarajan

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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