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Those participating in a recent seminar on fiscal policy in Latin American and Caribbean countries discussed the need for comprehensive tax modernization.
The forum took place in San Jose, Costa Rica, between June 16 and 17, 2015, and was set up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the Economic Commission of the United Nations for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT).
The event was attended by international experts and government officials from 14 countries in the region.
During the forum, participants discussed the fiscal challenges faced by economies in the region. It was noted that new legislation should be developed to combat tax avoidance and evasion and to strengthen tax administration.
Participants also said that economies in the region should expand their tax bases by reining in tax incentives. They also agreed that tax rules should be formalized to attract more companies and individual investors.
Costa Rica's Finance Ministry noted that tax revenues for the region are low compared with gross domestic product, especially relative to OECD country levels. According to a report jointly published by the OECD, ECLAC, CIAT, and the IDB, the tax revenues of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013 accounted for 21.3 percent of gross domestic product on average, compared with an average of 34.1 percent in OECD countries.
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