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  • Author: Jerzy Wilkin, Joanna Konieczna-Sałamatin, Mirosława Marody, Maja Sawicka, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Jan J. Michałek, Andrzej Halesiak, Stanisława Golinowska, Irena Topińska, Anna Fornalczyk, Richard Woodward, Grzegorz Gorzelak, Andrzej Kwieciński, Katarzyna Zawalińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Anna Malinowska, Wiesława Kozek, Magdalena Kąkol, Maciej Nowicki, Grzegorz Wiśniewski, Andrzej Cylwik, Tomasz Komornicki, Urszula Sztanderska, Jacek Liwiński, Dorota Ilczuk, Anna Karpińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Mateusz Szczurek, Stanisław Gomułka, Paweł Wojciechowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report is the result of the joint work of a number of experts from various fields who have been - for many years – analysing the multidimensional effects of EU institutions and cooperation with Member States pursuant to European values and mechanisms. The authors summarise the benefits of Poland’s membership in the EU based on facts; however, they do not hide their own views and reflections. They also demonstrate the barriers and challenges to further European integration. This report was prepared by CASE, one of the oldest independent think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, utilising its nearly 30 years of experience in providing objective analyses and recommendations with respect to socioeconomic topics. It is both an expression of concern about Poland’s future in the EU, as well as the authors’ contribution to the debate on further European integration.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Energy Policy, Labor Issues, Economic Growth, Regional Integration, Social Policy, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Anna Malinowska, Grzegorz Poniatowski, Jan Hagemejer
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report, prepared by a team of economists from CASE, is a continuation of the 2018 analysis The significance of the tobacco product manufacturing to Poland’s economy commissioned by JTI Polska Sp. z o.o. The purpose of the research whose results are presented in this report is to assess the economic significance, challenges and development prospects of the tobacco product manufacturing, trade and distribution sector in Poland. In the report we analyze a cross-section of the tobacco industry and its significance for the economy as a whole. We also present the significant barriers to the sector’s growth, i.e. the illicit market, costs of compliance and regulatory uncertainty, and we also model the long-term macroeconomic effects of potential changes in the industry. To the best of our knowledge, at the moment this is the most comprehensive economic study of the sector.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Fiscal Policy, Manufacturing, Trade, Tobacco
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Study contains Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2018, fast estimates using a simplified methodology for 2019, the year immediately preceding the analysis, and includes revised estimates for 2014-2017. It also includes the updated and extended results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). As a novelty, the econometric analysis to forecast potential impacts of the coronavirus crisis and resulting recession on the evolution of the VAT Gap in 2020 is reported. In 2018, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw a slight decrease in the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, but the economic conditions for increasing tax compliance remained favourable. We estimate that the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) in 2018 increased by 3.6 percent whereas VAT revenue increased by 4.2 percent, leading to a decline in the VAT Gap in both relative and nominal terms. In relative terms, the EU-wide Gap dropped to 11 percent and EUR 140 billion. Fast estimates show that the VAT Gap will likely continue to decline in 2019. Of the EU-28, the smallest Gaps were observed in Sweden (0.7 percent), Croatia (3.5 percent), and Finland (3.6 percent), the largest – in Romania (33.8 percent), Greece (30.1 percent), and Lithuania (25.9 percent). Overall, half of the EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 9.2 percent. In nominal terms, the largest Gaps were recorded in Italy (EUR 35.4 billion), the United Kingdom (EUR 23.5 billion), and Germany (EUR 22 billion). The Policy Gap and its components remained stable. For the EU overall, the average Policy Gap level was 44.24 percent. Of this, in 2018, 10.07 percentage points were due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap) and 34.17 were due to the application of exemptions without the right to deduct. The results of the econometric analysis show that the VAT Gap is influenced by a group of factors relating to the current economic conditions, institutional environment, and economic structure as well as to the measures and actions of tax administrations. Out of a broad set of tested variables, GDP growth and general government balance appeared to explain a substantial set of VAT Gap variation across time and countries. Within the control of tax administrations, share of IT expenditure proved to have the highest statistical significance in explaining the size of the VAT Gap. In addition, the VAT Gap appeared to be inter-related with the values of risky imports of goods, indicating the role of fraud in driving the overall share of the VAT Gap. Since the COVID-19 recession will likely have a dire impact on the EU economies, the VAT Gap in 2020 is forecasted to increase. If the EU economy contracts by 7.4 percent in 2020 and the general government deficit jumps as forecasted in the Spring Forecast of the European Commission, the Gap could increase by 4.1 percentage points year-over year up to 13.7 percent and EUR 164 billion in 2020. The hike in 2020 could be more pronounced than the gradual decrease of the Gap observed over the three preceding years. Moreover, a return to the VAT Gap levels observed in 2018 and 2019 will take time and require significant action from tax administrations. This Report has been written for the European Commission, DG TAXUD, for the project TAXUD/2019/AO-14, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, and is a follow-up to the seven reports published between 2013 and 2019.
  • Topic: European Union, Fiscal Policy, VAT, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Report has been prepared for the European Commission, DG TAXUD under contract TAXUD/2017/DE/329, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States” and serves as a follow-up to the six reports published between 2013 and 2018. This Study contains new estimates of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap for 2017, as well as updated estimates for 2013-2016. As a novelty in this series of reports, so called “fast VAT Gap estimates” are also presented the year immediately preceding the analysis, namely for 2018. In addition, the study reports the results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). It also scrutinises the Policy Gap in 2017 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. In 2017, growth in the European Union (EU) continued to accelerate with a combined real GDP growth of 2.5 percent, providing a sound environment for an increase in VAT collections. As a result, VAT revenue increased in all Member States (MS). An increase in the base was the main, but not the only, source for growth. Increase in compliance contributed to an approximate 1.1% increase in VAT revenue. In nominal terms, in 2017, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell to EUR 137.5 billion, down from EUR 145.4 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 11.2 percent in 2017 and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2013-2017. Fast estimates for 2018 indicate that the downward trend will continue and that VAT Gap will likely fall below EUR 130 billion in 2018. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap as percentage of the VTTL decreased in 25 countries and increased in three. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap occurred in Malta, Poland, and Cyprus. The smallest Gaps were observed in Cyprus (0.6 percent), Luxembourg (0.7 percent), and Sweden (1.5 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.5 percent), Greece (33.6 percent), and Lithuania (25.3 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 10.1 percent (see Figure 2.2 and Table 2.1). The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.5 percent, out of which 9.6 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates instead of standard rates (the Rate Gap). The countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.8 percent) and Estonia (3 percent). On the other side of spectrum are Cyprus (29.6 percent), Malta (16.5 percent), and Poland (14.6 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap – a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap – is, on average, 13 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis repeated after the 2017 Study confirmed the earlier results. We observe that the dispersion of tax rates and unemployment rate have a positive impact on the VAT Gap. Regarding the variables in hands of the administration, on the extended times series compared to the previous year, our results suggest that the nature of the expenditure of the administration, in particular IT expenditure, is more important that the amount of the overall resources.
  • Topic: Economy, Economic Growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Beaumont, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative tool designed to make home renovation simple, affordable and reliable for all Europeans by combining affordable financing with people-centric technical assistance. EuroPACE offers 100% up-front financing that can be repaid over a long term of up to 25 years. The innovation lies in the collection and repayment mechanism – financing is attached to the property and is repaid regularly with charges linked to a property. Homeowners are offered logistical and technical support throughout the process and access to trained and qualified con-tractors. Thus, EuroPACE overcomes the main barriers to home renovation – lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works. The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of a financing model called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), launched in California in 2008. In the United States (US), the PACE market reached over USD 6 billion in funded projects, including the retrofit of over 220,000 homes, which resulted in more than 50,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.EuroPACE combines the best practices from the US PACE market with project partners’ substantial experience in improving energy efficiency in European buildings. EuroPACE is a three-year project that intends to assess market readiness, deploy a pilot programme in Spain and scale across Europe to four leader cities. A two-phase research (firstly – legal & fiscal readiness, and secondly – market demand) has been carried to assess the overall readiness for adaptation of this model across the European Union (EU). This document is the second phase of the EuroPACE readiness assessment developed to identify European countries most suited for EuroPACE implementation. It complements the legal and fiscal assessment by focusing on the “demand dimension” by analysing local needs for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES) in residential building renovation of seven selected countries. Based on the results of legal and fiscal analysis of the EU28 MS, in October 2018 the Steering Committee Group of the EuroPACE Horizon2020 (H2020) project chose seven countries: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Romania, for the second phase of evaluation. These countries were selected based on the scoring outlined in D2.1 and two additional considerations developed by the Steering Committee Group. First, a diverse geo-graphical distribution of the countries was an important element for the selection of these seven countries. Secondly, the knowledge and expertise of the Steering Committee Group about the national potential market opportunity was taken into consideration during the selection process. While in Austria a similar mechanism has already been tested but was unsuccessful, the country still has been chosen for further analysis. In Belgium, despite being a federal state, there is a strong local and regional interest in new financial mechanisms designed to upscale residential retrofits across the country. In the Netherlands, asset-based financial instruments are currently being discussed at the national level, which opens a window of opportunity for EuroPACE to be tested in the country. As for Italy, although the property-taxation system is far from stable, potential synergies with successful programmes like Ecobonus or Sismabonus should be explored. In Poland, nearly 70% of the 6-million residential buildings need significant energy efficiency overhaul; these buildings contribute to some of the worst air quality across the EU leading to approximately 47 thousand premature deaths annually. Portugal, given its Mediterranean climate, proves a great potential not only for EE, but also prosumer RES development, given that current incentives are far from sufficient. Romania has been chosen mainly because of its highest home-ownership rate across the EU and the most institutionalised property-related taxation, possibly setting a stable base for EuroPACE being collected alongside existing charges.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Fiscal Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Twenty years of euro history confirms the euro’s stability and position as the second global currency. It also enjoys the support of majority of the euro area population and is seen as a good thing for the European Union. The European Central Bank has been successful in keeping inflation at a low level. However, the European debt and financial crisis in the 2010s created a need for deep institutional reform and this task remains unfinished.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, European Union, Economy, Economic Growth, Fiscal Policy, Currency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Adam Adamczyk, Leszek Morawski, Jarek Neneman
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: For many years, we have been hearing about the need for innovation and entrepreneurship. Successive Polish government declare their support for entrepreneurs and expand the catalog of privileges, mainly related to taxes and mandatory contributions. Not infrequently, in these discussions the self-employed are equated with entrepreneurs. In this work, we will seek an answer to the questions: Who, then, are the self-employed? Are they really entrepreneurs? Should we support their activities? And finally the fundamental question: What does the economy get from the self-employed? In this work we point out that the differences in rates of self-employment between countries may result from differences in taxation on the labor provided by self-employed and salaried workers. In the main part of the work, taking advantage of the potential of the EUROMOD tax-benefit microsimulation model, we show that in Europe there is no single model of taxation of work conducted as one’s own business. In the majority of the tax-contribution systems we examined, the profitability of employment or self-employment changes along with changes in income. In light of the regressivity of the burdens on the self-employed, as a rule it begins to be profitable only above a certain income level. In the first part of the work we define the self-employed as those who run a business, and later we distinguish within this group entrepreneurs, meaning those who take on risk and create innovations. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment from the point of view of the self employed and the employer, we point out that the benefits – including systemic (tax and contribution) benefits, outweigh the disadvantages. We also discuss in more detail the imposition of income tax on the self-employed. In the second part we present changes in the value of self-employment over the last 25 years. Here we use data from the World Bank and certain data points from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). They allow us to observe how the relationship between the self-employed and the economy is changing: The significance of services provided for other businesses is growing. Additionally, we can see that the significance of self-employment is falling. In Poland the level of (non-agricultural) self-employment is low. The dynamics of the rate of self employment indicate that the influence of legal regulations on the scale of self-employment is secondary. It seems that in this case, technological and demographic factors are much more significant.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Employment, Business , Social Policy, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Beaumont, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative tool designed to make home renovation simple, affordable and reliable for all Europeans by combining affordable financing with people-centric technical assistance. EuroPACE offers 100% up-front financing that can be repaid over a long term of up to 25 years. The innovation lies in the collection and repayment mechanism – financing is attached to the property and is repaid regularly with charges linked to a property. Homeowners are offered logistical and technical support throughout the process and access to trained and qualified con-tractors. Thus, EuroPACE overcomes the main barriers to home renovation – lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works. The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of a financing model called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), launched in California in 2008. In the United States (US), the PACE market reached over USD 6 billion in funded projects, including the retrofit of over 220,000 homes, which resulted in more than 50,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Climate Finance, Fiscal Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In this Report, the Authors present the new Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2016, as well as updated estimates for 2012-2016. In addition to the analysis of the Compliance Gap, this Report examines the Policy Gap in 2016 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. Moreover, the Report contains an econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants, which is a novelty introduced from this year’s Study. In 2016, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw positive tailwinds with a combined real GDP growth of 2.0 percent. As a result of a growing base and increasing VAT compliance, VAT revenue increased in all MS with three exceptions. Most pronounced is the case of Romania, where VAT revenue decreased in response to reduction of the standard rate by four percentage points. In nominal terms, in 2016, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell below EUR 150 billion and amounted to EUR 147.1 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 12.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 2015, and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2012-2016. Denoted at the share of GDP, the VAT Gap in 2016 amounted to 0.99% compared to 1.05% in 2015. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap share decreased in 22 countries and increased in six—namely, Romania, Finland, the UK, Ireland, Estonia, and France. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap—of over five percentage points—occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, and the Netherlands. The smallest Gaps were observed in Luxembourg (0.85 percent), Sweden (1.08 percent), and Croatia (1.15 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.88 percent), Greece (29.22 percent), and Italy (25.90 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap below 9.9 percent. The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.8 percent, out of which 9.95 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap). Countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.93 percent) and Estonia (2.97 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap—a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap—is, on average, 16.5 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis can be considered a successful first attempt at inferring the impact of various determinants. Firstly, it can be observed that the productive structure of the economy exerts an impact on the VAT Gap. The share of retailers has the strongest impact on the VAT Gap; however, telecommunications, industry, and art also have a positive impact. Secondly, liquidity constraints and the productive structure of the economy also play a role in determining VAT compliance. The most interesting results have to do with the impact of the variables under the direct control of the tax administration. We show that the impact of the size of the tax administration and the VAT Gap is concave. On the contrary, in the case of IT expenditure, the impact is convex, albeit small, until productivity vanishes when IT expenditure is about 9.8 percent of the total expenditure of the tax administration.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to derive the characteristics of an effective fiscal governance framework, focusing on the incentives that ensure a commitment to the fiscal rules. We study this problem with the use of econometric tools, complementing this analysis with formal modelling through the lens of a dynamic principal-agent framework. Our study shows that both economic and institutional factors play an important role in incentivising countries’ fiscal efforts. Fiscal balances are affected not only by the economic cycle, but, among others, by the level of public debt and the world economic situation. We find that the existence of numerical fiscal rules, their strong legal entrenchment, surveillance mechanisms, and credible sanctions binding the hands of governments have a significant impact on curbing deficits. The relationship between the Commission and European Union (EU) Member States (MS), where the EU authorities act as a collective principal that designs contracts for MS, has elements in common with the assumptions of the principal-agent framework. These are: asymmetry of information, moral hazard, different objectives, and the ability to reward or punish the principal. We use a dynamic principal-agent model and show that to ensure good fiscal performance, indirect benefits should be envisaged for higher levels of fiscal effort. In order to account for the structural differences of exerting effort by different MS, it is efficient to adjust fiscal effort to the level of indebtedness. To ensure a commitment to the rules, MS with difficulties conducting prudent fiscal policies should be required to exert less effort than the MS with more modest levels of debt. The FIRSTRUN project is a European Union funded multinational research project that investigates the need for fiscal policy coordination in the EU.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union