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

The IMF and Civil Society

Consultation on Financial Sector Tax

January 20, 2010

The IMF is requesting comments regarding its work on the financial sector tax. A broad consultation is on the way to receive input from experts and observers, and a series of meetings with CSOs will be planned in the coming weeks.

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. 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, civil society organizations (CSOs) and other interested stakeholders. In addition, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Mr. Lipsky will hold meetings with senior officials of 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 Comments

The IMF issued a call for written comments on the matter of financial sector taxation as part of the consultation process. Interested parties are asked to submit their comments by February 1, 2010. A second call for comments will take place after the initial IMF study is published.

The comments, inputs and suggestions received will be treated in a confidential manner. Anonymous comments cannot be considered. All participants need to provide the following information: name, last name, organization, e-mail and phone number. The IMF Civil Society Team will receive the comments and will post a summary of them (some editions might be needed) on the IMF website. The comments will be submitted to the IMF team in charge of the overall Financial Sector Taxation exercise.

You can obtain additional information on how to participate and the procedures of the consultation process in this consultation note. You can read all the comments submitted as of January 13, 2010. If you are interested in participating on this consultation, you can send us your contribution by February 1, 2010 to

G-20 leaders pose for a group photograph at the Convention Center September 25, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. International Monetary Fund Photograph/Stephen Jaffe