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How Australia Got a VAT

Susan C. Morse

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

August 4, 2010

The VAT Reader, Tax Analysts, 2011

Australia got its goods and services tax – its VAT – in 2000. It enacted GST legislation through ordinary political channels, without external pressure from a multinational organization, without the pressure of an extreme national fiscal crisis and without an unusual exercise of executive authority. And the GST-enacting center-right Liberal National Party government retained control for seven years after the reform.

This paper tells the Australian story in four parts: (1) framing the GST as a relatively efficient tax; (2) building a coalition between business and social welfare interest groups; (3) emphasizing efficiency while addressing regressivity in the political and legislative process; and (4) the federalism solution included in the reform, which provided for the transfer of GST revenue to the Australian states and territories.

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Date posted: August 5, 2010 ; Last revised: November 14, 2012

Suggested Citation

Morse, Susan C., How Australia Got a VAT (August 4, 2010). The VAT Reader, Tax Analysts, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1653609

Contact Information

Susan C. Morse (Contact Author)
University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

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