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Fiscal Policy

These courses, presented by the IMF Institute and Fiscal Affairs Department, provide a comprehensive analytical framework to understand and assess public fiscal choices and cover macro-fiscal issues, including revenue and expenditure policies; fiscal frameworks, institutions, and rules; fiscal sustainability, as well as tax policy and administration, expenditure policy, and budgetary framework.

Intro

This course, presented by the IMF Institute for Capacity Development, provides an overview of the concepts and techniques used to analyze how fiscal policy can help ensure macroeconomic stability and sustainable long-term growth. This hands-on course is built around the core macrofiscal topics needed to analyze fiscal policy. The learning units include general empirical findings, Excel-based workshops, case studies, and selected topics of regional interest. The course will be of interest to officials who wish to better understand how fiscal policy can affect the economy and the related tools of analysis.

Intermediate

This online course, presented by the IMF Institute for Capacity Development and the IMF Fiscal Affairs, Research, Monetary and Capital Markets, and Strategy, Policy, and Review Departments, in collaboration with the World Bank, provides a comprehensive overview of the IMF and World Bank recent research and hands-on analytical tools for debt sustainability analysis (DSA) and debt management . This six-module course, offered on a modular basis, lays out the underpinnings of debt sustainability analysis; introduces a probabilistic approach to assessing debt sustainability; examines how to balance the needs for development with debt sustainability concerns focusing on public investment-growth nexus; teaches the new debt sustainability frameworks for the economies that can access the financial markets (MAC DSA) as well as for the countries that benefit from long-term concessional financing (LIC DSF) using real country data; and presents the updated and refined Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS) to help ensure sustainable debt .

Intermediate

This course, presented by the IMF Institute, starts by reviewing the role of government and the objectives of fiscal policy; revisits essential macrofiscal tools and methodologies; and identifies a country’s fiscal framework as the set of institutions that design and conduct fiscal policy. The course stresses the need for high-quality information, transparency, and responsibility in order to hold governments accountable for their medium- to long-term fiscal objectives. The course concludes with thematic presentations by participants.

Intermediate

This course, presented by the IMF Institute for Capacity Development, looks at fiscal sustainability as a requirement for macroeconomic stability and sustainable and inclusive long-term growth. It provides a thorough overview of how to assess fiscal sustainability from a policy and tools perspective. It discusses fiscal risks and the early warning indicators used by the IMF and covers debt crises, debt management strategies, contingent liabilities, and long-term fiscal challenges.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, discusses key institutions that help governments better assess and manage risks to the government budget. It provides an overview of typical fiscal risks, their scale and relative importance, approaches for analyzing them, possible mitigating measures, and institutional arrangements for dealing with them. The course also discusses standards for the disclosure of fiscal risks—as prescribed in the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code—and the lessons from the IMF’s fiscal transparency evaluations.

South Asia is a rapidly developing region. Tax administrations are in many cases growing fast and working hard to develop capacity to keep pace with both policy and legislative change and the growing sophistication of the taxpayer populations. The Audit Techniques course will take revenue agency staff through a process to equip them with the skills necessary to apply contemporary risk management and prioritization approaches to the work in their Agencies. This five-day course will cover areas ranging from the components of audit risk and materiality through to audit procedures and practical issues such as the management of audit working papers.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, will help Nepal authorities have a deeper understanding of the international and regional good practices in Budget formulation, medium term and performance budgeting, cash management; and cross-cutting issues. Most sessions will follow discussion on issues and practices in Nepal and possible strengthening of their systems.

This course, presented by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) is designed for senior officials who have a leadership role in the area of Compliance Risk Management. The purpose of the course is to consider the importance of a risk based approach to compliance and how this leads to the efficient administration of the revenue system. Discussions will follow on alignment to the organizations mission, vision and values and how this should guide practical compliance work. The course will be tailored towards participants who are responsible for establishing or leading the compliance risk unit within their administration. It will include coverage of theoretical concepts at the beginning of each module and then follow these by practical examples for course participants to undertake. The course will cover the following main topics:

  •  What is risk management and why is risk based management important
  • Undertaking intelligence gathering
  •  Risk differentiation
  • Mitigating risks through a compliance improvement program
  • Development by each administration of plans to implement a risk register and adopt risk differentiation

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, offers participants a more extensive exposure to fiscal issues and the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy than is possible in a standard course on financial programming and policies. Separate lectures are devoted to fiscal accounts and analysis, fiscal forecasting, fiscal sustainability, how the fiscal sector relates to the rest of the economy, fiscal dimensions in financial programming, and governance and fiscal risk management issues.

Workshops take up about half the course time. These cover fiscal accounting and analysis, fiscal forecasting and sustainability, and design of a fiscal baseline for a case study country.

The course will discuss good practices in compilation, consolidation of accounting data for fiscal reporting; and chart of accounts. It will also briefly discuss the Government Accounting Statistics framework and Public Sector Debt Statistics.

This workshop, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, introduces IMF’s Public Financial Management (PFM) approach to gender budgeting, helping foster peer learning, and planting the seeds for a potential possible Community of Practice.

Gender equality is on the government’s policy agenda in many countries from different regions and income groups. Despite some achievements in promoting gender equality over the last years, gender gaps still exist. Some of the countries are considering and implementing gender budgeting initiatives to further promote gender equality.

To support these important initiatives in the region, this workshop helps countries to: (i) develop a better understanding of gender budgeting practices and their integration with the PFM cycle; (ii) present innovations in gender budgeting and the challenges they face; (iii) initiate a dialogue among the participating countries on the design and implementation of gender budgeting initiatives and practices, with the objective of learning lessons and improving the impact of these initiatives. It also brings together government representatives from various agencies—including gender policy coordination units, ministries of finance, and specific sectors—as well as regional experts supporting gender budget initiatives, such as UN Women in the region.

This one week course presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, is designed to learn and discuss good practices and their application in treasury, cash and debt management in SARTTAC countries.

The International Survey on Revenue Administration (ISORA) is a partnership between the Inter-American Center of Tax Administration (CIAT), the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations (IOTA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The first survey, launched in 2016, was completed by 135 tax administration, and the survey data is now accessible for participating jurisdictions on a secured online database.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, examines the role of strong fiscal institutions and fiscal governance in ensuring fiscal sustainability. Drawing on international country experiences, it covers three main areas: medium-term budgetary frameworks (MTBFs), fiscal rules, and fiscal councils. Regarding MTBF, the course discusses how a medium-term perspective in budgeting can improve fiscal discipline and expenditure control, and the preconditions and elements for effective MTBFs, including their relationship with fiscal rules. With respect to fiscal rules, the course will review the pros and cons of different types of fiscal rules and how to select, design, and calibrate them to balance fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stabilization objectives.

The course also explores how fiscal councils might help strengthen fiscal performance, support fiscal rules, review trends, and best practices.

This online course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, provides an overview of PFM systems, institutions, and capacity building in developing and emerging market economies. It focuses on PFM issues in support of macroeconomic stability, inclusive growth, and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The training covers a wide range of topics, and treats PFM as an integrated system rather than a collection of specialties. As such, it focuses on PFM priorities, reform objectives and implementation risks. The course is built on conceptual and practical approaches, and includes testimonies from ministers of finance, practitioners, and other stakeholders from many countries.

  • This online course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, provides instruction on how to prepare and execute the Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) universal VAT gap model. The course focuses on four main pillars:
  • what is the VAT gap;
  • how the VAT gap is measured by the IMF RA-GAP;
  • how to prepare the worksheets to execute the IMF RA-GAP VAT gap model; and
  • how to troubleshoot the IMF RA-GAP VAT gap model after execution.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, explores recent developments in subsidy spending on fuel products, their macroeconomic impact, and the environmental and social implications. Building on country-specific case studies, the course elaborates on key elements of successful reforms, such as measures to protect low-income groups adversely affected by lower subsidies. The course also disseminates tools for measuring subsidies and assessing the distributional impact and alternative fuel pricing mechanisms that can help smooth the transmission of international fuel prices to domestic prices while protecting the budget. Participants may be asked to make presentations on their own country's experience in setting fuel prices and reforming subsidies.

This online course, presented by the IMF Institute for Capacity Development and the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, focuses on the technical aspects of revenue forecasting. It provides an overview of the quantitative methods that are required to forecast and evaluate the revenue implications of changes in major taxes, namely personal income taxes, corporate income taxes, value added taxes, excise taxes, and international trade taxes. The course also emphasizes the necessity of establishing a strong institutional framework to support the revenue forecasting process.

The course builds on both conceptual and practical approaches and employs hands-on activities to support learning, which includes quizzes and quantitative exercises with real fiscal data.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, examines the role of fiscal institutions, such as medium-term fiscal frameworks, top-down budgeting, medium-term budgeting, cash and debt management, independent fiscal institutions, and budget comprehensiveness, and how each promotes fiscal discipline.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, examines the role of fiscal institutions, such as medium-term fiscal frameworks, top-down budgeting, medium-term budgeting, cash and debt management, independent fiscal institutions, and budget comprehensiveness, and how each promotes fiscal discipline.

The training workshop, presentated by the TADAT Secretariat,  consists of presentations explaining (i) the design principle and purpose; (ii) the scoring methodology for each of the performance areas and indicators based on the TADAT Field Guide; (iii) the pre-assessment, assessment, and post-assessment phases of a TADAT diagnostic; and (iv) how a good PAR should be written.

In addition, there are discussion sessions where practice exercises and case studies mimicking real life situations are discussed. Finally, a one-hour TADAT online exam is conducted. Those who pass the exam (75% correct response) get a TADAT certificate. Participants with some international experience, can be invited to participate in conducting TADAT assessment in any other country.

TADAT provides a 360-degree diagnostic of the performance of a tax administration using nine performance areas which contain 28 indicators. The performance assessment should first be used at the national, system-wide level, to identify the key weaknesses and strengths that are generic to the entire tax administration as a whole. Thereafter, especially in a large country like India with a federal structure, regional variations can be identified by conducting guided assessments at the regional level to identify specific weaknesses in different regions.

This course, presented by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, is designed to broaden participants’ knowledge of the main difficulties for government in designing, administering, and monitoring a modern tax system. It briefly outlines the theoretical underpinnings of tax policymaking and discusses in detail its practice and implementation with an emphasis on the region the course is directed to. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and develop strategies to improve their tax systems and how they are implemented and administered. Through lectures and workshops, the course will:

  • provide an overview of policy design principles and their implications for tax administration—establishing linkages between tax policy and administration and how each function feeds into the other;
  • review design issues for major taxes that form modern tax systems (e.g., broad-based consumption and income taxes, property taxes, small business tax regimes), and discuss approaches to tax policy making in specific economic and institutional settings, such as resource-rich countries and countries in economic blocs/customs unions;
  • discuss the organization of tax administrations, drawing on experiences within and beyond the region; and
  • examine the challenges in structuring a modern tax system.
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IMF's Fiscal Training Curriculum

by Andrea Lemgruber
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