Consumers often pay consumption taxes directly or indirectly in the form of retail sales taxes, excise taxes, tariffs, value-added taxes (VAT), or income taxes, where all savings are tax-deductible. Consumption taxes are typically levied on the purchase of products and services.
Consumption Tax: An Expenditure Tax
A consumption tax is a tax that is levied on consumer spending as opposed to income. This makes sure that there is just one tax on the income and that the tax system is neutral about both present and future consumption.
A system of consumption taxes would move the collection period from when money is generated to when it is spent. To reduce economic distortions, there should only be one standard rate applied to all final consumption, with the fewest number of exceptions.
Consumption taxes are typically an economically effective strategy to increase tax collection. In contrast to other tax income streams, consumption tax revenue as a percentage of GDP tends to remain fairly steady over time, especially during recessions.
Despite this, the disadvantage of consumption taxes is that they are a regressive tax because households and individuals with lower incomes have the propensity to spend rather than preserve more of their money.
Comparing the income tax with the consumption tax
Theoretically, consumption taxes would promote saving and investment, whereas income taxes discourage these actions because they tax both savings and consumption.
Currently, the United States levies income taxes on both individuals and corporations, including capital gains taxes and individual income taxes. The United States does not have a national consumption tax, although it does impose consumption taxes in the form of sales taxes and excise taxes.
In Europe, value-added taxes and excise taxes are used to collect consumer taxes (VAT). Every nation in Europe as well as more than 170 other nations imposes a VAT on goods made for personal consumption.