IMF Survey: IMF Launches Consultative Process on Financial Sector Tax

January 11, 2010

  • Broad consultation to allow for input from experts and observers
  • Meetings with civil society organizations planned for coming weeks
  • IMF requests written submissions in connection with work on financial sector tax

The International Monetary Fund is launching a consultative process as it begins to examine policy options for how governments can recover public money that was used to support banks and other financial institutions during the current crisis. Some form of financial sector tax is one of the options under examination.

IMF Launches Consultative Process on Financial Sector Tax

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky at a meeting with CSO representatives at the October 2009 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Istanbul (photo: IMF)

IMF and Civil Society

At their Summit held in September, the Group of Twenty (G-20) industrial and emerging market countries requested that the IMF analyze policy options “for how the financial sector could make a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions” to repair the system.

IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky, who is heading the IMF group preparing the report, said recently that “an important aspect of our work as we move forward will be to consult and seek the views of a broad set of observers, who will bring varied perspectives and valuable insights to the process.”

Broad consultation

The IMF plans a number of steps to ensure a comprehensive consultation process is put in place. The process will involve IMF staff interaction with tax experts, academics, labor unions, and civil society. In addition, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Mr. Lipsky will hold meetings with senior officials of civil society organizations (CSOs).

In a December 3rd letter to 91 CSOs that had written to him on the issue, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said, “I am committed to providing an appropriate consultative process to ensure that CSO voices are heard as we prepare our report to the G-20 governments on this issue.”

Call for Comment

Along with these meetings, the IMF is issuing a call for written comment on the matter of financial sector taxation as part of the consultation process. Interested parties are asked to submit their comments by February 1, 2009 after which time submissions will be posted on the IMF website. A second call for comment will take place after the initial IMF study is published.

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