An Examination of Convergence and Resistance in Global Tax Reform Trends

Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 11, p. 475, 2010

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010/59

23 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2011  

Kathryn James

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The worldwide rise of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) over the last half-century is emblematic of the paradox in modern tax systems: their remarkable similarity in the face of divergent political, cultural and social systems. However efforts to introduce VAT-style taxes have frequently been accompanied by fierce localized resistance. The histories of VAT reform in Australia, Canada and the United States encapsulate the tension that arises from a tendency among developed tax systems to converge against frequent and often fierce localized opposition. This tension speaks to a key debate in the public policy and comparative law literature concerning the transferability of policy ideas or legal instruments across jurisdictions. The Article details the history of VAT reform in Australia, Canada and the United States over a period of four decades, 1965-2005, where the global uptake of the VAT was at its highest, but where VAT reform in each jurisdiction was highly controversial. The Article concludes with an assessment of the factors that contribute towards tax policy convergence and localized resistance.

Keywords: Value-Added Tax, VAT, Australia, Canada, United States, localized resistance, convergence

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K30, K34, K39

Suggested Citation

James, Kathryn, An Examination of Convergence and Resistance in Global Tax Reform Trends (2010). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 11, p. 475, 2010; Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010/59. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1960272

Kathryn James (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.monash.edu.au/staff/kjames.html

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