Public Finance in the Era of the COVID-19 Crisis
18-20 August 2021 | Online, Organized by University of Iceland, Reykjavík
Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.
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Some information on the session logistics:The last speaker of each session is the session chair. The discussant is always the following speaker, with the first speaker being the discussant of the last paper. Each paper has a 22-minutes-block in all sessions. There should be 15 minutes and no more than 18 minutes for the presenter. The discussion is then started by the discussant. Please note that the role of the discussant is different compared to previous years: The discussant has only 1-2 minutes and s/he is not allowed to give a lengthy summary of the paper together with comprehensive comments. Instead, her/his task is to raise one single question/comment and, in doing so, start the general discussion! All participants are asked to be strict in timing to allow people to change sessions during the general discussion. For a (rare) session with less papers in the session than the time slot allows, stick to the congress schedule and use 22 minutes per presentation to allow listeners to smoothly change between sessions. Only registered participants can attend this online conference. Further information available on the congress website https://iipf2021.hi.is/ .
Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 2nd Dec 2021, 01:00:26pm GMT
9:00am - 9:22am
Using Administrative Data to Assess the Impact of the Pandemic in Low-income Countries: An Application with VAT Data in Rwanda
IDS / ICTD, United Kingdom
This paper uses administrative data from VAT returns to provide insights on the impact of the pandemic in Rwanda. We show that the lockdown had a severe impact on the economy, which quickly rebounded after restrictions were lifted. The overall loss amounts to 5% of GDP. In absolute terms, losses are concentrated amongst the largest firms. In proportional terms, small firms suffered particularly hard. Firms in accommodation, food and transport, and those based in Kigali, were particularly affected by the crisis. This decline in economic activity translates in a 5.1% loss in VAT revenue. Our results offer policymakers evidence on the real impact of the crisis, both on aggregate and disaggregated by level of income, sector, and location. In a literature that has largely focused on higher-income countries, these results complement projections to inform appropriate policy responses in the specific context of low-income countries.
9:22am - 9:45am
VAT Fraud and Reverse Charge: Empirical Evidence from VAT Returns
We explore the effects of a key anti-fraud measure on VAT returns. Exploiting the German VAT return data at industry level, we find that the total amount of input VAT claims were reduced significantly after the expansion of the scope of the so-called "reverse-charge'' mechanism. The introduction of reverse charge means that tax-liability is shifted from the seller to the buyer. Our results point to a significant volume of VAT fraud before the implementation of this measure. The effects on reported sales and EU exports point to a decline of transactions and support the existence of significant fraud. Based on our estimates we quantify the amount of VAT fraud stopped by reverse charge in the years between 2009 and 2018 to be around 2.9% of VAT revenues.
9:45am - 10:07am
Up and Down the Value-Added Tax
Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal
This paper assesses the incidence of a large and temporary increase in value-added taxfor Portuguese restaurants and other catering services. In 2012 the tax increased from 13%to 23% and it was brought back down in July of 2016. Combining data on all non-financial firms in Portugal between 2006 and 2017 we estimate effects upon four agents: consumers,capital owners, and workers. We show that firm-owners pass on to consumers around 40%of the VAT increase while the pass-through after the repeal is zero. Through a Difference-in-Differences strategy we find that: the tax increase did not harm employees as severely asfirm’s margins, leading employers to later pocket most of the tax cut benefits
10:07am - 10:30am
VAT Invoice Information And Compliance Behavior: Evidence From Thailand
1Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; 2Revenue Department, Thailand
How do firms respond to increased information available to tax authority? We employ a difference-in-difference approach to examine the effects of a policy that increases the amount of information on VAT invoice on firm behavior in an environment with large informality. We use a de-identified panel of VAT and corporate income tax returns that comprises the universe of Thai firms. Our finding indicates that increasing the information available to tax authority has a large and significant impact on compliance of both VAT and corporate income tax.
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