I am going to turn now from the VAT
to other alternatives for reform.
Any VAT is a substitute tax if the assumption is that it is being enacted in lieu of increasing existing income taxes, or if the VAT replaces revenue lost through earlier income tax cuts.
Nevertheless, in the United States, I suggest that the consumer VAT is generally viewed as an additional tax, viz., the form of a VAT that is most likely to be added on top of existing taxes ostensibly to pay for deficit reduction but most likely to be absorbed by spending in combination with a variety of politically expedient tax cuts for lower income individuals to offset the supposed increase in the cost of consumer goods.
I further suggest, however, that despite the invoicing system under the consumer VAT, not all U.S.
The business VAT is generally considered most likely to be a true substitute tax.
business community for the business VAT. If substituted for the U.S.
Heretofore, no occasion has arisen where there is a clearcut advantage to business from advancing the business VAT as a substitute tax.
On September 7, 1989, the Conference Board (a New York-based business research organization) issued a report stating that a VAT could add tremendous amounts of revenue to the budget, but could also have serious drawbacks.
The Conference Board noted that, although the VAT is regarded as a tremendous revenue raiser, controversy still exists regarding both the cost and administrative burden of implementing the new tax.
policymakers in deciding whether to enact a VAT, including how the tax would operate, its relative advantages and disadvantages, and the experience of European countries.
The disadvantages to a VAT outlined in the report are, as follows:
tax basis, whereby even a low-rate VAT would restrict