Consumption-Based Direct Taxes: A Guide Tour of the Amusement Park
Although consumption-based direct taxation has long been advocated in academic and policy circles, very few countries have actually implemented such taxes. This article analyzes numerous attempts to implement various forms of consumption-based direct taxation around the world, drawing on the authors' experiences with some of these efforts. It provides an overview of alternative approaches to direct consumption taxation, examines arguments favoring consumption taxes over income taxes, and then analyzes efforts at “fundamental tax reform” – that involved replacing an income tax with a consumption tax – in both the United States and numerous developing countries and countries in transition from socialism.
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