IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Successful tax reform: the experience of value added tax in the United Kingdom and goods and services tax in New Zealand


  • James, Simon
  • Alley, Clinton


Tax reform provides many examples of failures - where reforms did not achieve their objectives successfully and sometimes even had to be reversed. However, value added tax (VAT) in the UK and goods and services tax (GST) in New Zealand have survived successfully for many years. This paper describes the nature and brief history of VAT and GST and then assesses the factors that contributed to their success. A key factor is the process of implementation both in allowing effective prior consultation to identify possible problems and improvements as well as preparing the taxpaying public for change. It is also important that the reform was seen to be fair, that there were gains as well as losses and the change was a net improvement. In assessing how the arguments for the introduction of VAT/GST turned out in practice, it is clear that this is a robust form of taxation and has been well able to accommodate the different political pressures in the UK and New Zealand.

Suggested Citation

  • James, Simon & Alley, Clinton, 2008. "Successful tax reform: the experience of value added tax in the United Kingdom and goods and services tax in New Zealand," MPRA Paper 19858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19858

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evan Davis & John Kay, 1985. "Extending the VAT base: problems and possibilities," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 1-16, February.
    2. Burchell, Stuart & Clubb, Colin & Hopwood, Anthony G., 1985. "Accounting in its social context: Towards a history of value added in the United Kingdom," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 381-413, October.
    3. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2008. "Developing Tax Policy in a Complex and Changing World," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 35-53, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. James, Simon, 2010. "Combining the contributions of behavioral economics and other social sciences in understanding taxation and tax reform," MPRA Paper 26289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. James, Simon, 2012. "The contribution of behavioral economics to tax reform in the United Kingdom," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 468-475.
    3. Mohamad Ali Roshidi Ahmad & Zuriadah Ismail & Hazianti Abdul Halim, 2016. "Awareness and Perception of Taxpayers towards Goods and Services Tax (GST) Implementation," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(11), pages 75-94, November.
    4. Saving, Jason L. & Viard, Alan D., 2015. "Are income taxes destined to rise? the fiscal imbalance and future tax policy," Working Papers 1502, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    More about this item


    value added tax; goods and services tax; tax reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    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:pra:mprapa:19858. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    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.