An August IMF working paper by staffer John Brondolo takes the IMF into new territory, giving detailed information on how financial transaction taxes (FTTs) could be implemented. The paper compares “administrative feasibility” of FTTs with the IMF preferred financial activities tax (FAT, see Update 71), finding that, “in principle, an FTT is no more difficult and, in some respects easier, to administer than other taxes.” Campaigners for FTTs, dubbed ‘Robin Hood taxes’, welcomed the paper, and over 90 organisations wrote to IMF head Christine Lagarde in September asking her to “promote the widest possible adoption of FTTs to provide much needed funds for global public goods and discourage high frequency trading.”
The IMF and the World Bank are increasingly engaged with the challenge of addressing how tax avoidance and evasion affect developing countries, but need to address the role played by multinational enterprises and tax havens in exacerbating inequality and undermining countries’ domestic revenues.
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