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World Bank To Review Latvian Tax System

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

29 January 2016

Latvia's Ministry of Finance on January 28, 2016, signed an agreement with the World Bank aimed at reviewing the efficiency, competitiveness, revenue mobilization, and equity of the country's tax system.

"We have a solid and longstanding cooperation with the Government of Latvia and we look forward to working with our counterparts on improving the efficiency and equity of the current tax system," Marina Wes, the World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic countries, said. "We hope that the findings of our analysis and proposed policy solutions will help the Government of Latvia to design a tax strategy that will position the country for future growth and shared prosperity."

Finance Minister Janis Reirs said: "The Ministry of Finance of Latvia has begun work to develop new tax policy guidelines 2017-2020. In order to carry out this task in the best possible quality, an objective and thorough evaluation of the current tax system is necessary."

Latvia's economy is again among Europe's fastest growing and the tax system is viewed generally as competitive internationally. Nevertheless, more can be done to ensure the conditions for sustained high growth, the World Bank said in a statement.

The Bank said that there is a continued need to combat the grey economy. Reducing tax evasion can help contribute to raising Government revenues to meet growing spending needs – particularly in the areas of education, health and social protection, it said.

There may also be scope to improve the fairness of the current tax system, for instance by reducing the tax burden for low-income employees, the statement said.

The World Bank's study aims at informing the formulation of a medium-term tax strategy by the Government of Latvia, including 2017 Budget proposals. The study's analysis and policy recommendations will be presented for public discussion throughout the preparation of the project.

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | economics | tax compliance | fiscal policy | employees | budget | Latvia | education | Poland | tax reform | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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