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

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


  • Author: United States. Government Accountability Office.
    Creator Type: Organization


  • Name: United States. Government Accountability Office.
    Place of Publication: Washington D.C.


  • Creation: 2008-04-04


  • English


  • Content 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."


  • Library of Congress Subject Headings: Government accountability -- United States.
  • Keyword: tax policy and administration
  • Keyword: value-added taxes
  • Keyword: letter report


  • Place Name: United States


  • Name: Government Accountability Office Reports
    Code: GAORT


  • Name: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
    Code: UNTGD


  • Rights License: pd

Resource Type

  • Report


  • Text


  • Report No.: GAO-08-566
  • Accession or Local Control No: 274401
  • URL:
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc301986