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VAT Attacks!

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  • Michael Keen

Abstract

Like the theory of the second best that the 2006 congress marks, the 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. The second is the view that the VAT does a bad job of taxing the informal sector-and that tariffs might 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT Attacks!," IMF Working Papers 07/142, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    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

    Indirect taxation; Tax reforms; Value added tax; tax reform; vat; tax instrument; tax instruments; sales tax;

    JEL classification:

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

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