In the aftermath of multiple crises, many countries face an urgent need to close tax gaps and raise additional revenue. At the same time, inequality has risen further from already high levels. It is, therefore, crucial for countries to find ways to raise revenue in a progressive manner. This event will focus on one potential way for countries to achieve both revenue and equity goals: a net wealth tax

The event Closing the Tax Gap: A Role for Wealth Taxation? will consist of a three-hour session on the final day of the 2024 ATI Tax Gap Workshop. The session will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation into French and Spanish. The format will be hybrid: in-person and online.

As part of a broader project on capital income, property, and wealth taxation, the World Bank is currently preparing a report examining the merits of net wealth taxation in low-income countries (LICs) and middle-income countries (MICs). As a key contribution to this report, the World Bank aims to bring together the practical experiences of LICs and MICs that have either implemented a net wealth tax, or have considered implementing a net wealth tax. The collation of these countries’ experiences is intended to provide a resource for countries to learn from each other’s experiences – including both what worked and what did not work.

The event will conclude with a roundtable discussion. In the roundtable, all participants – both those attending in-person and online – are encouraged to share their views and country experiences. This includes both countries that have implemented a net wealth tax (either currently or in the past), and countries that have not implemented a net wealth tax.

The aim of the roundtable discussion is for participants to have a meaningful exchange and to explore aspects around a net wealth tax, including underpinning reasons for the introduction of this tax, political economy constraints during implementation, the impact of the observability of assets on the tax's design, and difficulties encountered in valuing assets, among others. 

[kindly note that the event will take place at 11:00 UTC, 12:00 CET, and 14:00 Tanzania Time]

screenshot of the agenda


The net wealth tax introduction depends on various factors, including the degree of inequality faced by a country, the availability of alternative tax instruments, and the administrative capacity of a country.

The case for introducing a net wealth tax is arguably strongest where a country faces very high inequality or where a country is unable to effectively tax capital income on a comprehensive basis.

Furthermore, the case for introducing a net wealth tax may be stronger in LICs and MICs because the extent of income and wealth inequality is typically greater than in high-income countries (HICs). For example, 2021 data from the World Inequality Database shows the top 1% of individuals earn around 13% of a country’s total income in HICs, but around 17% in LICs and MICs. Meanwhile, the top 1% hold around 27% of a country’s total wealth in HICs, and around 30% and 32% in MICs and LICs, respectively. 

However, a net wealth tax can be complicated to administer, posing significant challenges for countries with limited tax administration capacity. Indeed, many countries that have introduced net wealth taxes have faced significant challenges due, for example, to difficulties associated with the valuation of assets and the ability of wealthy taxpayers to avoid or evade their tax liability, including through hiding assets offshore.


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