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Modernizing VATs in Africa - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Modernizing VATs in Africa

Sijbren Cnossen


Tax revenues in most African countries fall far short of what is feasible and necessary to finance basic human and economic development. Domestic tax revenue mobilization is called for, preferably in the form of a broad-based consumption tax, such as the VAT, which is less detrimental to economic growth than an income tax is. Most African VATs, however, are riddled with exemptions, exclusions, and zero rates on domestic goods and services. Hence, base-broadening rather than rate-increasing should be pursued if revenue is the goal. Base-broadening would also make the VATs less distortionary and ... More

Keywords: VAT, Africa, excise taxes, regressivity, regional economic communities, administration

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198844075
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198844075.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sijbren Cnossen, author
Professor of Economics, University of Pretoria, South Africa, and Academic Partner, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Netherlands