Value-Added Taxes: Potential Lessons for the United States from Other Countries' Experiences

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Dissatisfaction with the federal tax system has led to a debate about U.S. tax reform, including proposals for a national consumption tax. One type of proposed consumption tax is a value-added tax (VAT), widely used around the world. A VAT is levied on the difference between a business's sales and its purchases of goods and services. Typically, a business calculates the tax due on its sales, subtracts a credit for taxes paid on its purchases, and remits the difference to the government. While the economic and distributional effects ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 26, 2011.

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Description

Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Dissatisfaction with the federal tax system has led to a debate about U.S. tax reform, including proposals for a national consumption tax. One type of proposed consumption tax is a value-added tax (VAT), widely used around the world. A VAT is levied on the difference between a business's sales and its purchases of goods and services. Typically, a business calculates the tax due on its sales, subtracts a credit for taxes paid on its purchases, and remits the difference to the government. While the economic and distributional effects of a U.S. VAT type tax have been studied, GAO issued a report in 2008 that looked at lessons learned from VAT administration in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. These countries provided a range of VAT designs from relatively simple to more complex. This statement, which is based on the 2008 report, focuses on (1) the effect VAT design choices, such as exemptions and enforcement mechanisms, have on compliance, administrative costs, and compliance burden; (2) Canada's experience with administering a VAT in conjunction with several different subnational consumption tax arrangements; and (3) the experience that some countries had transitioning to a VAT."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 26, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Value-Added Taxes: Potential Lessons for the United States from Other Countries' Experiences, text, July 26, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290764/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.