Value-Added Taxes: Lessons Learned from Other Countries on Compliance Risks, Administrative Costs, Compliance Burden, and Transition

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A letter report 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 ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 4, 2008.

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Description

A letter report 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 was asked to identify the lessons learned from other countries' experiences in administering a VAT. This report describes (1) how VAT design choices, such as exemptions and enforcement mechanisms, have affected compliance, administrative costs, and compliance burden; (2) how countries with federal systems administer a VAT; and (3) how countries that recently transitioned to a VAT implemented the new tax. GAO selected five countries to study--Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom--that provided a range of VAT designs from relatively simple to more complex with multiple exemptions and tax rates. The study countries also included some with federal systems and some that recently implemented a VAT. GAO does not make any recommendations in this report."

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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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  • April 4, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Value-Added Taxes: Lessons Learned from Other Countries on Compliance Risks, Administrative Costs, Compliance Burden, and Transition, report, April 4, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301986/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.