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The Future of indirect taxation: recent trends in VAT and GST systems around the world - a global comparison, Rust (2010)

Consumption taxes such as Value Added Taxes (VAT) and Goods and Services Taxes (GST) play an ever increasing role in financing country’s budget. Especially in times of economic crisis, tax administrations tend to rely more heavily on this type of tax. While general consumption taxes exist in over 140 countries worldwide, there are significant differences between the various consumption tax regimes.

To present and compare these different regimes, the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of WU Vienna together with PricewaterhouseCoopers organized a global VAT / GST conference. The discussion based on national reports submitted by academics as well as practitioners and representatives of various tax administrations. Through the identification of similarities and differences, the conference aimed at creating awareness about the various tax systems. Discussants compared how certain issues are solved under different regimes.

A fair understanding of the various national tax regimes should help to encourage international trade, allow legislators to learn from other consumption tax systems, and lay the groundwork for the removal of tax obstacles in international commerce.