Design, Experiences and Issues
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Mikael S. Andersen, Birgitte E. Olsen, Stefan Speck, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 8: Reforming the EU VAT system to support the transition to a low-carbon and resource efficient economy
This chapter discusses the question of ecologically differentiated value added taxes (VAT) as a tool to overcome tax-related cognitive barriers by connecting to an existing tax system. This is elaborated along several aspects: (a) The role indirect of consumption taxes for the economy, (b) the legal issues of the VAT system, (c) the EU harmonization efforts in this context, (d) the distributional implications of value added taxes. Following this, the chapter develops a proposal for a VAT reform (e). To this end, it looks at potential and existing differentiations between sectors, products and services, and product and service groups and turns to those consumption areas that are widely identified as particularly resource and carbon intensive and sets out how a harmonization of the overall system and an ecological differentiation in single consumption areas could be brought together. Potential impacts and effects are briefly discussed (f) and some conclusions are drawn (g). The subject addressed in the chapter is relevant from a policy perspective but mainly descriptive: It does not use innovative qualitative and quantitative tools.
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