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The Anatomy of the VAT

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  • Michael Keen

Abstract

This paper sets out some tools for understanding the performance of the value added tax (VAT). Applying a decomposition of VAT revenues (as a share of GDP) to the universe of VATs over the last twenty years, it emerges that developments have been driven much less by changes in standard rates than by changes in ‘C-efficiency’ (an indicator of the departure of the VAT from a perfectly enforced tax levied at a uniform rate on all consumption). Decomposing C-efficiency into a ‘policy gap’ (in turn divided into effects of rate differentiation and exemption) and a ‘compliance’ gap (reflecting imperfect implementation), results pieced together for EU members suggest that the former are in almost all cases far larger than the latter, with rate differentiation and exemptions playing roles that differ quite widely across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keen, 2013. "The Anatomy of the VAT," IMF Working Papers 13/111, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "The collection efficiency of the Value Added Tax: Theory and international evidence," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 391-410.
    2. Alexandre Mathis, 2004. "VAT indicators," Taxation Papers 2, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, revised Apr 2004.
    3. Dina Pomeranz, 2015. "No Taxation without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2539-2569, August.
    4. Reckon, 2009. "Study to quantify and analyse the VAT gap in the EU-25 Member States," Taxation Studies 0029, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    5. Sijbren Cnossen, 2011. "A Proposal to Improve the VAT Treatment of Housing in the European Union," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 32(4), pages 455-481, December.
    6. Kay, J. A., 1980. "The deadweight loss from a tax system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-119, February.
    7. Keen, Michael & Smith, Stephen, 2006. "VAT Fraud and Evasion: What Do We Know and What Can Be Done?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 59(4), pages 861-887, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sijbren Cnossen, 2015. "Mobilizing VAT revenues in African countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 1077-1108, December.
    2. Romain Houssa & Kelbesa Megersa & Roukiatou Nikiema, 2017. "The sources of VAT gaps in WAEMU: case studies on Benin and Burkina Faso," BeFinD Working Papers 0122, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    3. Christopher Ball & John Creedy & Michael Ryan, 2016. "Food expenditure and GST in New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 115-128, August.
    4. DAS-GUPTA Arindam & B. ESTRADA Gemma & PARK Donghyun, 2016. "Measuring Tax Administration Effectiveness and its Impact on Tax Revenue," Working Papers DP-2016-17, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    5. Sijbren Cnossen, 2017. "VAT and Agriculture: Lessons from Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 6350, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Luca Barbone & Misha V. Belkindas & Leon Bettendorf & Richard Bird & Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovskiy & Michael Smart, 2013. "Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States," CASE Network Reports 0116, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Julio López-Laborda & Guillermo Peña, 2016. "A new approach to financial VAT," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1606, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    8. Keen, Michael & Slemrod, Joel, 2017. "Optimal tax administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 133-142.
    9. Matti Ylönen, 2017. "Policy diffusion within international organizations: A bottom-up analysis of International Monetary Fund tax work in Panama, Seychelles, and the Netherlands," WIDER Working Paper Series 157, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Jean-François Brun & Maïmouna Diakite, 2016. "Tax Potential and Tax Effort: An Empirical Estimation for Non-resource Tax Revenue and VAT’s Revenue," Working Papers halshs-01332053, HAL.
    11. International Monetary Fund, 2015. "Belgium; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 15/71, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Sijbren Cnossen, 2014. "Mobilizing VAT Revenues in African Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 5102, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. repec:ris:utmsje:0200 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax revenues; Tax rates; Tax compliance; Value added tax; tax gaps; vat revenue; consumption tax; tax administration; tax journal; national tax journal; Business Taxes and Subsidies;

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