The World Bank and IMF are launching a new initiative to help developing countries strengthen their tax systems.
A statement issued by the IMF on Saturday, a copy of which was obtained by Petra, said that raising additional revenues will allow developing countries to fill financing gaps and to promote development.
The announcement comes ahead of the "Financing for Development" conference in Addis, Ethiopia next week, at which heads of state, CSOs, multilateral institutions and private sector representatives will discuss how to scale up finances to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"A strong revenue base is imperative if developing countries are to be able to finance the spending they need on public services, social support and infrastructure," said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. "But experience shows that with well-targeted external technical support and sufficient political will, it can be done." "We very much want to help developing countries raise more revenues through taxes because this can lead to more children receiving a good education and more families having access to quality health care," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "If everyone pays their fair share – developing countries can close their financing gaps and promote inclusive growth." Responding to country demands, the IMF/World Bank initiative has two pillars: deepening the dialogue with developing countries on international tax issues, aiming to help increase their voice in the international debate on tax rules and cooperation; and developing improved diagnostic tools to help member countries evaluate and strengthen their tax policies. This builds on the Bank’s current tax programs in over 48 developing countries and the Fund’s tax related technical assistance projects in over 120 countries.