Emerging Tax Issues in Asia

The Seventh IMF-Japan High-Level Tax Conference
For Asian Countries in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan
April 5-7, 2016

The IMF and Japanese Ministry of Finance co-hosted the Seventh IMF-Japan High-Level Tax Conference for Asian Countries on April 5 to 7 in Tokyo.

The workshop was financed by the Japan Administered Account for Selected IMF Activities (JSA).

group picture


Day One, Tuesday, April 5, 2016

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM


Opening Ceremony
9:30 AM - 9:40 AM

Opening Address–Mr. Michael Keen, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), IMF

9:40 AM - 9:50 AM

Welcome Address – Mr. Daikichi Momma, Director-General of the International Bureau, Ministry of Finance (MOF), Japan

9:50 AM - 10:20 AM

Photo Session and Coffee Break

Indirect Taxation

Indirect taxes are a major source of tax revenue in emerging and developing countries in the region—and often a promising source of additional revenue. This session will discuss the related issues of how to design of efficient and effective VATs and how to implement VATs with minimal administrative and compliance costs; and will consider key issues in excise taxation. The discussion will draw on the IMF’s analytical work and technical assistance, with case studies presented by participating countries.

10:20 AM - 12:00 AM

VAT Design Issues


  • Mr. Keen, FAD, IMF Presentation
  • Professor Motohiro Sato, Hitotsubashi University Presentation
  • Ms. Lim Siew Gim, Director, Goods and Services Tax – Wholesale Trade, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore Presentation
  • Mr. Gao Sheng, Consultant, Turnover Tax Division, Tax Policy Department, MOF, China Presentation
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch Break

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

VAT Administration


  • Mr. Juan Toro, Assistant Director, FAD, IMF Presentation
  • Mr. Wahyu Winardi, Deputy Director, VAT Regulation of Industrial Sector, Directorate General of Taxes, MOF, Indonesia Presentation
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Coffee Break

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Excise Taxes


  • Mr. Keen, FAD, IMF Presentation
  • Mr. Kiyoshi Nakayama, Advisor, FAD, IMF
  • Ms. Juvy Danofrata, Director, Department of Finance, Philippines Presentation
  • Ms. Sumalee Satitchaichareon, Director, Tax Policy Bureau, Fiscal Policy office, MOF, Thailand Presentation

Day Two, Tuesday, April 6, 2016

Issues in International Taxation—An Open Workshop

International tax issues remain at the forefront of public attention and the policy agenda, as the OECD/G20 project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) moves to implementation. The IMF continues to be active in the areas, helping its member countries address international taxation issues through technical assistance and analytical works. This workshop, open to the public by invitation, will provide an opportunity to take stock not only of the outcomes and implementation issues of the BEPS project but also of the full range of current international tax issues (including for instance the ‘toolkits’ under development by the international organizations, and wider issues of coordination and cooperation). Participants are expected to include senior tax officials attending the tax conference, international / regional organizations, tax professionals, academics and civil society.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM


9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Welcome Remarks – Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

9:15 AM - 10:30 AM


  • Mr. Takuji Tanaka, Deputy Director-General for International Tax Policy, MOF, Japan Presentation
  • Mr. Ben Dickinson, Head of Tax and Development Secretariat, OECD Presentation
  • Mr. Keen, FAD, IMF Presentation

Country experience:

  • Ms. Kim Jacinto-Henares, Commissioner, Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Philippines Presentation
  • Ms. Caroline Edwards, Chief Advisor, The Treasury, Australia Presentation
  • Ms. Patricia Mongkhonvanit, Director, Bureau of Tax Policy and Planning, Revenue Department, Thailand Presentation
  • Mr. Hanafi Sakri, Deputy Director, Tax Division, MOF, Malaysia Presentation
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Presentations by selected countries (continued), businesses, and civil society organizations

  • Mr. Ichiro Suzuzki, Operating Officer, Head of Tax, Lixil

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Professor Keiji Aoyama, Waseda University

Panelists: Presenters

Brief summing up by FAD

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Lunch Break

Indirect Transfer of Assets

Many developing countries have been troubled by the realization of large capital gains in low tax jurisdictions. Such ‘indirect transfers of interest’ were not among the BEPS Action Items, but are now the subject of work by the IMF and OECD (with the World Bank and UN). This session will discuss the economic, legal and administrative issues at stake, and consider preliminary thoughts for the IMF-OECD work. The discussion will draw on cross-country survey of the current tax rules of participating countries and approaches taken by selected participant countries.

2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Chair: Mr. Tam Tai-pang, Deputy Commissioner, Inland Revenue Department, Hong Kong


  • Mr. Nakayama, FAD, IMF
  • Mr. Kentaro Ogata, Director, International Tax Policy, MOF, Japan Presentation
  • Mrs. Rani Singh Nair, Member , Central Board of Direct Taxes, MOF, India Presentation
  • Ms. Edwards, The Treasury, Australia Presentation
  • Mr. Nguyen Van Phung, Director General, Large Corporate Tax Management Department, General Department of Taxation, Vietnam Presentation

Day Three, Thursday, April 7, 2016

Analyzing Compliance Gaps

An increasing number of tax administrations are working to measure, and better understand, compliance gasp—the difference between tax leally due and that collected. The ‘RA-GAP’ program of the IMF provides a methodology that is now being used to help countries to do this. Within the region, four assessments have been completed and one assessment is ongoing. Drawing on the outcomes of these assessments and views of the countries concerned, this session will explore the nature, impact and potential of the compliance gap analysis. In addition, the latest analysis of RA-FIT (Revenue Administration’s Fiscal Information Tool) data will be presented by the IMF.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM


  • Mr. Toro, FAD, IMF Presentation
  • Mr. Zhong Shan, Deputy Director, Revenue Planning Division, Sate Administration of Taxation, China Presentation
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Coffee Break

Carbon Pricing—How to Implement the Paris Climate Agreement

For the Paris agreement of December 2015, more than 190 countries made commitments—Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, or INDCs--to reduce their carbon emissions. But, how are they to meet these pledges? This session will consider the critical role that can be played—also in reducing local pollution damage—by carbon taxation and similar pricing schemes, including implications for competitiveness, equity and administrations. It will draw on recent IMF analytical works and approaches adopted by selected countries.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


  • Professor Toru Morotomi, Kyoto University Presentation
  • Mr. Keen, FAD, IMF
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch Break

Tax Reform to Improve Tax Compliance

Given the increasing opportunities for sophisticated tax planning, countries need to review on a regular basis whether their tax law provisions underpinning compliance are appropriate. The session will discuss key tax rules to counter compliance risks, such as anti-abuse rules, statutory limitation of assessment, investigative power, reporting requirement. It will draw on cross-country information on the current rules of participating countries and major advanced countries, and on their experiences.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Chair: Mr. Rehmt Ullah Khan, IR Policy Member, Pakistan


  • Mr. Toro, FAD, IMF Presentation
  • Mr. Nakayama, FAD, IMF
  • Mr. Masaaki Kaizuka, Deputy Commissioner, National Tax Agency, Japan Presentation
  • Mr. Sabin Samitah, Deputy CEO, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia Presentation
  • Mr. Tam Tai-pang, Inland Revenue Department, Hong Kong Presentation
  • Mr. Goro Ekanto, Director, Center for State Revenue, Fiscal Policy Agency, MOF, Indonesia Presentation
  • Mr. Md. Abdus Samad Al Azad, Deputy Secretary Internal Resources Division, MOF, Bangladesh Presentation
  • Mr. Aung Thein, Assistant Director, Internal Revenue Department, MOF, Myanmar Presentation
3:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Coffee Break

Concluding Session
4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Summing-up and Concluding Remarks—Mr. Keen, FAD, IMF