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Tunisia Should Aim For Fairer Tax System, Says IMF

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

10 September 2015


The IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, held a press conference at the end of her visit to Tunisia this week, saying that the Government has made progress but must now drive forward further fiscal reforms.

Lagarde noted that, since 2012, Tunisian governments have faced social, economic, and political challenges and have responded well, achieving "commendable" macroeconomic performance. However, there remain severe problems with unemployment, inequality, and poverty.

To address these issues, Lagarde urged that reform efforts be intensified. First, she advised a "growth-friendly" budget, which should include tax reforms. She stated: "We have just released an in-depth study on how tax systems can play a role in meeting the aspirations for greater economic fairness in the Middle East and North African countries. For example, in the case of Tunisia, equity and efficiency can be achieved through greater simplification, progressivity, and convergence of tax rates between the onshore and offshore sectors."

These tax reforms should be coupled with a review of the financial sector, and public banks in particular, and a simplification of the business climate in order to "lay the foundations for a vibrant economy," she said, urging rapid implementation.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | tax incentives | budget | offshore | unemployment | tax planning | tax rates | Tunisia | tax reform | Africa | Middle East

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