IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/itaxpf/v14y2007i4p365-381.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

VAT attacks!

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Keen

    ()

Abstract

Like the theory of the second best that the 2006 congress marks, the value added tax (VAT) is now fifty years old. Judged by the extent and speed of its spread around the world, and the revenue that it raises, the VAT would seem to have been a remarkable success. Over the last few years, however, it has come under a series of attacks. This paper considers three of the most prominent of these. One is the fear (raised mainly in the United States) that the VAT actually does too good a job of raising tax revenue—which raises the empirical question of whether it has indeed proved as effective a source of revenue as its proponents claim and its opponents fear. The second is the view that the VAT does a bad job of taxing the informal sector—and that tariffs might consequently be a better revenue-raising instrument for many developing countries. The third attack is the most literal, by criminals rather than theorists: in the European Union and elsewhere, sophisticated VAT fraud, targeting its refund provisions, has become a serious concern. The paper also argues, more generally, that the many unanswered questions concerning the VAT reflect an unfortunate disconnect between the development of the tax itself and of second best tax analysis. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT attacks!," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(4), pages 365-381, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:14:y:2007:i:4:p:365-381 DOI: 10.1007/s10797-007-9037-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-007-9037-9
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 599-623.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. John Piggott & John Whalley, 2001. "VAT Base Broadening, Self Supply, and the Informal Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1084-1094, September.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn & Andrea Gebauer & Rüdiger Parsche, 2004. "The Ifo Institute’s Model for Reducing VAT Fraud: Payment First, Refund Later," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 5(2), pages 30-34, October.
    5. Newbery, David M., 1986. "On the desirability of input taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 267-270.
    6. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2010. "The value added tax: Its causes and consequences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 138-151, July.
    7. Knud Munk, 2008. "Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(6), pages 647-667, December.
    8. Keen, Michael & Smith, Stephen, 2006. "VAT Fraud and Evasion: What Do We Know and What Can Be Done?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 861-887, December.
    9. James E. Anderson, 1996. "Trade Reform with a Government Budget Constraint," NBER Working Papers 5827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hatzipanayotou, Panos & Michael, Michael S. & Miller, Stephen M., 1994. "Win-win indirect tax reform : A modest proposal," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 147-151.
    11. Baunsgaard, Thomas & Keen, Michael, 2010. "Tax revenue and (or?) trade liberalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 563-577, October.
    12. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    13. Keen, Michael & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2002. "Coordinating tariff reduction and domestic tax reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 489-507, March.
    14. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2006. "Is the VAT a Money Machine?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 905-928, December.
    15. Keen, Michael, 2008. "VAT, tariffs, and withholding: Border taxes and informality in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1892-1906, October.
    16. Graham Harrison & Russell Krelove, 2005. "VAT Refunds; A Review of Country Experience," IMF Working Papers 05/218, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Moore, Mick, 2014. "Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 99-112.
    2. de Quatrebarbes, Céline & Boccanfuso, Dorothée & Savard, Luc, 2016. "Beyond representative households: The macro–micro impact analysis of VAT designs applied to Niger," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 76-92.
    3. Emanuele, Canegrati, 2007. "A Contribution to the Positive Theory of Direct Taxation," MPRA Paper 6117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jean-Louis COMBES & Gérard CHAMBAS & Joseph G. ATTILA, 2009. "Aide publique au développement et transition fiscale," Working Papers 200901, CERDI.
    5. Antonio Gómez Gómez-Plana & Pedro Pascual Arzoz, 2011. "Fraude fiscal e IVA en España: incidencia en un modelo de equilibrio general," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 199(4), pages 9-52, December.
    6. Richard M. Bird, 2008. "Tax Challenges Facing Developing Countries," Working Papers id:1618, eSocialSciences.
    7. European Commission, 2012. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2012 Report," Taxation Papers 34, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    8. Dietl Helmut M & Jaag Christian & Lang Markus & Trinkner Urs W.O., 2011. "Competition and Welfare Effects of VAT Exemptions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, April.
    9. Céline de Quatrebarbes & Savard Luc & Boccanfuso Dorothée, 2011. "Can the suppression of VAT exemption support the poor? The case of Niger," EcoMod2011 3227, EcoMod.
    10. Mare, Mauro, 2015. "Why and How should the EU budget be reformed?," MPRA Paper 76112, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value added tax; Indirect taxation; Tax reform; H21; H26;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:14:y:2007:i:4:p:365-381. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.