Tax Law Drafting Samples
Tax Code of the Republic of
Prepared by the IMF Legal Department
September 29, 2000
Over the last five years or so most CIS countries have either adopted tax codes or prepared draft tax codes. These codes are similar in general structure, although different in their details. The process of compiling and revising tax codes in these countries continues. In some countries, the tax code has not been adopted, but the possibility of its adoption is being reviewed. In other countries, work is actively underway to prepare legislative acts. In countries that have already adopted codes, the codes are being applied and these countries are already dealing with issues connected with the interpretation and possible revision of their codes. With time, their further revision is probable as the tax systems of these countries continue to develop.
The International Monetary Fund's Legal Department has developed a sample tax code for a hypothetical country (the Transition Republic of Taxastan) for use as reference material to provide assistance in the preparation of legislative acts and the application of laws. Although there are many possible variants, only one text is proposed. The reason is not that it always represents the best variant for all countries, but rather that the code is based on the actual experience of working with legislation and that the proposed single text of the code is easier to read and understand. The text is based for the most part on the tax codes of Georgia (June 1997) and Tajikistan (November 1998), which in turn rely on the tax code of Kazakhstan (April 1995) and Part I of the tax code of Russia (August 1998). Other legislative tax documents of CIS states (for example, Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan) and other states were also reviewed in the preparation of the text.
The tax code of Taxastan includes all the national taxes of Taxastan: Tax on the income of physical persons, tax on the income of legal persons, value-added tax, excise taxes, social insurance contributions, land tax, tax on the processors of commercial minerals, tax on the property of enterprises, tax on owners of vehicles, tax on small commercial enterprises, and local taxes. Of course, the set of included taxes should be modified for the individual country in order to bring it into correspondence with existing taxes. The text of the sample code does not deal with issues of the distribution of authority for the collection of taxes among state administrative authorities at the national (federal) and regional (local) level inasmuch as there exist important differences in this area among the constitutions of the individual CIS countries.
Naturally, it will be necessary to make substantial changes to the text to satisfy the needs of a specific country. In this connection, it is suggested that the text be used as a guideline, and as reference material, not as a standard. It is not a recommendation from the IMF that certain specific provisions be introduced in any specific country.