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indirect taxa TAX imposed by the government on goods and services (which is incorporated into the product's final price) in order to raise revenues and as an instrument of FISCAL POLICY in managing the economy. The main forms of indirect tax in the UK are VALUE ADDED TAX, EXCISE DUTY and CUSTOMS DUTY. See BUDGET (GOVERNMENT), EXPENDITURE TAX.
indirect taxa TAX levied by the government that forms part of the purchase price of goods and services bought by individuals (households) and businesses in order to raise revenue and as an instrument of FISCAL POLICY. Examples of an indirect tax are VALUE-ADDED TAX, EXCISE DUTY, SALES TAX and TARIFF.
Changes in indirect tax can be used as part of fiscal policy to regulate the level of AGGREGATE DEMAND, increases in tax serving to reduce disposable income available for consumption spending, while decreases in tax increase disposable income. Indirect taxes can be used to affect the shape of demand as well as its level, increases in indirect tax serving to discourage consumption of socially disapproved products like cigarettes or alcoholic drinks, while reductions in indirect taxes encourage consumption of socially approved products like basic foodstuffs or books.
Unlike a DIRECT TAX, which varies according to the income of the taxpayer (PROGRESSIVE TAXATION), indirect taxes are regressive, insofar as the same amount is paid by each taxpaying consumer regardless of income. See TAXATION, REGRESSIVE TAXATION, INCIDENCE OF TAXATION.