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Policy Framework for Investment

A Review of Good Practices

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OECD's Policy Framework for Investment is designed to encourage policy makers to ask appropriate questions about their economy, their institutions and their policy settings in order to identify their priorities, to develop an effective set of policies and to evaluate progress. This Review of Good Practices in OECD and non-OECD economies is published as a companion volume to the Framework and provides analytical background material on each of the ten chapters of the Framework.

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Tax Policy

A country’s tax regime is a key policy instrument that may negatively or positively influence investment. Imposing a tax burden that is high relative to benefits realised from public programmes in support of business and high relative to tax burdens levied in other competing locations, may discourage investment, particularly where location-specific profit opportunities are limited or profit margins are thin. In addition, the host country tax burden is a function of not only statutory tax provisions but also of compliance costs. A poorly designed tax system (covering laws, regulations and administration) may discourage capital investment where the rules and their application are non-transparent, or overly-complex, or unpredictable, adding to project costs and uncertainty over net profitability. Systems that leave excessive administrative discretion in the hands of officials in assigning tax relief tend to invite corruption and undermine good governance objectives fundamental to securing an attractive investment environment. Policy makers are therefore encouraged to ensure that their tax system is one that imposes an acceptable tax burden that can be accurately determined, keeps tax compliance and tax administration costs in check and addresses rather than contributes to project risk.

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