Implications of Different Bases for a VAT

Research Report

Implications of Different Bases for a VAT

Abstract

A value added tax (VAT) with a broad base and a VAT that excludes food, housing, and medical care would both impose larger burdens as a share of income on low-income than on high-income taxpayers. A rebate aimed at low-income taxpayers would reduce their VAT burden more than exclusions of selected goods and services. A broad-based VAT that was accompanied by a rebate consisting of an earnings credit up to a ceiling amount and an adjustment in cash transfer payments would impose relatively smaller burdens on lower than on higher income taxpayers throughout most of the income distribution.

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