Targeting, Cascading, and Indirect Tax Design

Author/Editor: Michael Keen
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate
Summary: This paper addresses two fundamental issues in indirect tax design. It first revisits the case for reduced rates on items especially important to the poor, establishing conditions under which even very crudely targeted spending measures better serve their interests. It then explores the welfare costs from cascading taxes, showing that these may actually be lower the wider the set of inputs that are taxed but, more to the point—and contrary to the common notion that “a low rate on a broad base” is always good tax policy—may plausibly be large even at a low nominal tax rate and with few stages of production.
Series: Working Paper No. 13/57
Subject(s): Indirect taxation | Value added tax | Income | Consumption | Taxes

Publication Date: February 28, 2013
ISBN/ISSN: 9781475566055/1018-5941 Format: Paper
Stock No: WPIEA2013057 Pages: 29
US$18.00 (Academic Rate:
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