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From Income Tax to Consumption Tax? The Case of Jamaica

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Abstract

Over the past decade, a number of countries have shifted to single rate tax systems with broader bases and lower rates. In the U.S. , there continues to be discussion of the merits of a consumption tax, and of base-broadening reforms to the income tax system. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how, over time, a conventional income tax could be converted to a flat rate consumption tax in a developing country. The value of this analysis, we hope, comes with the use of a real world situation ( Jamaica ), which allows us to focus on the detail that determines the feasibility of transitioning to a flat rate tax on consumption. Our main contribution is to show the conditions under which the switch can be revenue neutral.

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Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0712.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0712

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Keywords: Income Tax; Consumption Tax; Jamaica; Jamaica tax system;

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  1. Richard M. Bird, 2006. "Is VAT the Best Way to Impose a General Consumption Tax in Developing Countries?," International Tax Program Papers 0602, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  2. Sally Wallace & James Alm, 2004. "The Jamaican Individual Income Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0430, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Charles E. McLure & George R. Zodrow, 2007. "Consumption-Based Direct Taxes: A Guide Tour of the Amusement Park," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0716, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Thomas F. Rutherford & Miles K. Light & Felipe Barrera Osorio, 2003. "Equity and EffciencyCosts of Raising Tax Revenue inColombia," INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 002583, FEDESARROLLO.
  5. Dillon Alleyne & James Alm & Roy Bahl & Sally Wallace, 2004. "Tax Burden in Jamaica," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0434, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Ricardo Varsano & Kevin Kim & Michael Keen, 2006. "The "Flat Tax(es)"," IMF Working Papers 06/218, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Zodrow, George R. & McLure, Charles E. Jr., 1988. "Implementing direct consumption taxes in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 131, The World Bank.
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