Home > Tax Policy


- eg, GST; alcohol, tobacco, fuel and gambling taxes; excise taxes; customs duties

- see also Concessions; Environment; State taxes

No Taxation Without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax
Dina Pomeranz, National Bureau of Economic Research (July 2013).  Tax evasion generates billions of dollars of losses in government revenue and creates large distortions, especially in developing countries. Claims that the VAT facilitates tax enforcement by generating paper trails on transactions between firms have contributed to widespread VAT adoption worldwide, but there is little empirical evidence about this mechanism. This paper analyses the role of third party information for VAT enforcement through two randomised experiments among over 400,000 Chilean firms. Announcing additional monitoring has less impact on transactions that are subject to a paper trail, indicating the paper trail's preventive deterrence effect. Tax enforcement leads to strong spillovers up the VAT chain, increasing compliance by firms' suppliers. These findings confirm that when evasion is taken into account, significant differences emerge between otherwise equivalent forms of taxation.

Would You Prefer Sales Tax to Income Tax? (Video)
Arkady Grudzinsky, TED Conversations (April 2013).  The power to lay and collect taxes is, perhaps, the greatest power of the government. With this power alone, the government can encourage or prohibit certain behaviors without passing additional laws - it can effectively ban alcohol, tobacco, firearms, etc., can coerce people to marry, to have or have no children, buy gas or "green energy", buy real estate, lock up their money for decades in retirement accounts (both policies make people return a large percentage of their income straight back to the banks withdrawing huge amounts of cash from circulation). Taxes inhibit the taxed activity. Grudzinsky provides several arguments in favour of sales taxes compared to income taxes.

Creating an American Value Added Tax
William G. Gale and Benjamin H. Harris (26 February 2013).  This paper proposes a value-added tax (VAT) to contribute to the U.S. fiscal solution. A 5 percent broad-based VAT, paired with subsidies to offset the regressive impacts, could raise about 1 percent of GDP per year. International experience suggests that the VAT can raise substantial revenue, is administrable, and is minimally harmful to economic growth.

Consumption Tax Trends 2012 VAT/GST and excise rates, trends and administration issues
OECD (December 2012).  Consumption Tax Trends provides information on Value Added Tax/Goods and Services Tax (VAT/GST) and excise duty rates in OECD member countries.

Jobs Australia's Statement of Reform Priorities
David Thompson (September 2011).  Jobs Australia's statement of taxation reform priorities in preparation to the Tax Forum 4-5 October 2011.

Per Capita Tax Survey for 2011: Public Attitudes towards Taxation and Government Expenditure
David Hetherington (September 2011).  The Per Capita Tax Survey for 2011 has asked 1,300 Australians for their views on personal tax contributions, overall taxation levels, public service spending and new tax proposals such as the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and the carbon tax.

International VAT/GST Guidelines on Neutrality: report on consultations
OECD (22 July 2011).  The OECD released a paper outlining the outcomes of the public consultation on draft international guidelines on value added tax (VAT)/goods and services tax (GST) neutrality for the final guidelines.

Taxation trends in the European Union
Eurostat (1 July 2011).  An overview of taxation in the European Union, by type of tax (consumption, labour income, company income and capital income), by level of government (federal, state, local), and by country.

OECD Tax Agenda 2011 - VAT and consumption taxes
OECD (12 Apr 2011).  An excerpt from the OECD's latest Tax Agenda brochure, outlining its current work in a variety of tax-related areas, including: Value Added Taxes; Consumption Taxes.

Consumption Tax Trends
OECD (18 Mar 2011).  Describes a range of taxation provisions in OECD countries, such as the taxation of motor vehicles, tobacco and alcoholic beverages and presents trends for 2010.

Progressive Tax Reform: Reform of the Personal Income Tax System
Australian Council of Social Service (November 2009).  This report advocates strengthening the personal income tax system in order to achieve progressive tax reform. It covers topics such as personal income tax rates, consumption taxes, company income taxes, taxation and saving, taxation and the transfer system.