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The Economic Incidence of Replacing a Retail Sales Tax with a Value-Added Tax: Evidence from Canadian Experience

  • Michael Smart
  • Richard M. Bird

A decade ago, several Canadian provinces replaced the retail sales taxes with value-added taxes. This paper estimates the effects of this tax substitution on consumer prices in the reforming provinces. Consistent with theory, we find that the resulting effective tax-rate changes were shifted forward to consumers in most sectors of the economy. The overall effect on tax-inclusive consumer prices was small, albeit perhaps somewhat regressive.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.35.1.85
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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 35 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 85-97

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:35:y:2009:i:1:p:85-97
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  1. G. C. Ruggeri & K. Bluck, 1990. "On the Incidence of the Manufacturers' Sales Tax and the Goods and Services Tax," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 16(4), pages 359-373, December.
  2. Patrick Blagrave, 2005. "An Analysis of the Impact of the Harmonized Sales Tax on Provincial Revenues in Atlantic Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(3), pages 319-332, September.
  3. Richard M. Bird & Michael Smart, 2008. "The Impact on Investment of Replacing a Retail Sales Tax by a Value-Added Tax: Evidence from Canadian Experience," Working Papers Series 15, Rotman Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Jun 2008.
  4. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2007. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Murrell & Weiqiu Yu, 2000. "The Effect of the Harmonized Sales Tax on Consumer Prices in Atlantic Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(4), pages 451-460, December.
  6. James P. Feehan, 1985. "Provincial Government Taxation of Clothing and Footwear: Revenue and Equity Aspects," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 11(1), pages 26-39, March.
  7. Bird, Richard M. & Mintz, Jack M. & Wilson, Thomas A., 2006. "Coordinating Federal and Provincial Sales Taxes: Lessons from the Canadian Experience," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 889-903, December.
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