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Successful tax reform: the experience of value added tax in the United Kingdom and goods and services tax in New Zealand

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Author Info

  • James, Simon
  • Alley, Clinton

Abstract

Tax reform provides many examples of failures - where reforms did not achieve their objectives successfully and sometimes even had to be reversed. However, value added tax (VAT) in the UK and goods and services tax (GST) in New Zealand have survived successfully for many years. This paper describes the nature and brief history of VAT and GST and then assesses the factors that contributed to their success. A key factor is the process of implementation both in allowing effective prior consultation to identify possible problems and improvements as well as preparing the taxpaying public for change. It is also important that the reform was seen to be fair, that there were gains as well as losses and the change was a net improvement. In assessing how the arguments for the introduction of VAT/GST turned out in practice, it is clear that this is a robust form of taxation and has been well able to accommodate the different political pressures in the UK and New Zealand.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19858.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services 1.8(2008): pp. 35-47
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19858

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Related research

Keywords: value added tax; goods and services tax; tax reform;

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References

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  1. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2008. "Developing Tax Policy in a Complex and Changing World," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 38(1), pages 35-53, March.
  2. Burchell, Stuart & Clubb, Colin & Hopwood, Anthony G., 1985. "Accounting in its social context: Towards a history of value added in the United Kingdom," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 381-413, October.
  3. Evan Davis & John Kay, 1985. "Extending the VAT base: problems and possibilities," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 1-16, February.
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Cited by:
  1. James, Simon, 2010. "Combining the contributions of behavioral economics and other social sciences in understanding taxation and tax reform," MPRA Paper 26289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. James, Simon, 2012. "The contribution of behavioral economics to tax reform in the United Kingdom," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 468-475.

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