Who pays sales taxes? Evidence from French VAT reforms, 1987-1999
The point of this paper is to provide visual evidence of tax shifting and to measure empirically the distribution of the sales tax burden between consumers and producers. For that purpose, two French reforms are studied. These reforms entail steep decreases of the VAT rate. September 1st 1987, the VAT rate on car sales went down from the luxury-rate of 33.33% to the full-rate of 18.6%. September 1st 1999, the VAT rate on housing repair services went down from the full-rate of 20.6% to the reduced-rate of 5.5%. The consumer share of the sales tax burden is 57% in the new car sales market and 77% in the housing repair services market.
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