Jurisdictional Reach of VAT

VAT IN AFRICA, R. Krever, ed., pp. 175-214, Pretoria University Law Press, South Africa, 2008

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/64

46 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2008 Last revised: 29 Jul 2008

See all articles by Rebecca Millar

Rebecca Millar

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: July, 18 2008


This paper examines the jurisdictional reach of VATs, as determined through their rules on place of taxation. After opening with an examination of the destination and origin principles, it looks at the way in which VATs predict consumption at the time of supply by using proxies to determine the place of consumption. The paper then examines the structure and legal design of place of taxation rules, comparing and contrasting the way these are dealt with in the two main models of a value added tax: the European VAT and the New Zealand GST. The paper considers imports of goods, supplies of goods, supplies of services, and different approaches to using the reverse charge mechanism for imported services. The second half of the paper then examine the way in which (mainly English speaking) African nations have adopted and/or adapted one or other of the two main models, and considers how the laws of those countries measure up to the ideal of taxing domestic consumption under the destination principle. The paper was originally presented in June 2007 at the "VAT in Africa" conference sponsored and hosted by the African Tax Institute (University of Pretoria) and recently appeared in the book of the same name, published by University of Pretoria Press.

Keywords: VAT, GST, tax, consumption tax, value added tax, goods and services tax, cross-border conflicts, destination principle, jurisdiction, place of supply, place of taxation

JEL Classification: K34, K10, K20

Suggested Citation

Millar, Rebecca Mescal, Jurisdictional Reach of VAT (July, 18 2008). VAT IN AFRICA, R. Krever, ed., pp. 175-214, Pretoria University Law Press, South Africa, 2008; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/64. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1162510

Rebecca Mescal Millar (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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