Is the WTO a World Tax Organization? : A Primer for WTO Rules for Policy Makers

Author/Editor:

Michael Daly

Publication Date:

March 29, 2016

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Technical Guidance Note should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Note are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

This paper examines the extent to which World Trade Organization (WTO) rules impinge on policymakers’ freedom to formulate tax policies. It provides an overview of both the economic rationale for WTO rules concerning taxation and the provisions of the main WTO agreements concerning border taxes and internal taxes (direct as well as indirect). It also points out some tax anomalies and inconsistencies in these rules, and how the rules have evolved as a consequence of the interpretation of the WTO agreements by its Dispute Settlement Body and the latter’s rulings in connection with several disputes over taxes affecting trade. As WTO Members will undoubtedly want to avoid having their tax policies successfully challenged in the WTO, the paper provides some guidance concerning the design of tax policy.

Series:

Technical Notes and Manuals No. 2016/03

English

Publication Date:

March 29, 2016

ISBN/ISSN:

9781498329798/

Stock No:

TNMEA2016003

Price:

$10.00 (Academic Rate:$10.00)

Format:

Paper

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