Incidence of Value Added Tax, Effects and Implications

  •  George Obeng    


The current debate in the field of taxation and public finance is the concern of Value Added Tax (VAT) being inflationary and who the incidence or burden of payment falls. The implication from available literature and studies points to the fact that VAT can impact negatively on production and consumption, stifling free flow of economic activities. Literature is reviewed to find out the incidence of VAT and its implications on the firm and the consumer. It is established that VAT is not a cost to the business firm to make it inflationary but a charge independent of its pricing mechanism. It is also not extra cost to the consumer but part appropriation of the economic resource flow accruing to the consumer to settle the legitimate obligation of financing public expenditure. The paper concludes that the incidence of the tax is on the consumer and VAT is not inflationary but a means of tax optimality to stabilize the system in the event of market failure.

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