Publication: Taxing Consumption
Bird, Richard M.
Domestic consumption in most countries is taxed through general sales taxes, excise taxes on specific commodities, and a variety of miscellaneous taxes on such services as hotels and transfers of property. This note considers only the first two of these categories, with particular attention to general sales taxes. Consumption taxes are obviously related both to customs duties and other taxes on imports and also to production taxes like those often imposed on agricultural output. In some countries elements of both import and production taxation remains. These aspects are not further explored in this note other than to note that the original form of general sales taxes often consisted of a sales tax imposed on imported and domestic manufactured goods. Most countries have now replaced such 'pre-retail' sales taxes by taxes that fall primarily on consumption rather than on production and, both more responsive to revenue needs and easier to collect effectively and efficiently. However, excise taxes on specific commodities are often still imposed at the production stage.
“Bird, Richard M.. 2009. Taxing Consumption. PREM Notes; No. 136. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/f6bacf11-e35f-5a39-94b6-c34660a57fc1 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”