Implementing a (Modern) Progressive Consumption Tax

47 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021

Date Written: April 29, 2021


Progressively taxing consumption has much normative appeal, but previous legal scholarship has incorrectly assumed that directly accounting for the expenditures of individual taxpayers is administratively infeasible. Changes in consumer spending and advances in technology require revisiting this assumption. This Article proposes a novel framework through which an individual accounting progressive consumption tax (“IAPCT”) can be implemented and establishes the IAPCT’s superiority to previously proposed forms of progressive consumption taxation. IAPCT advantages include a significant reduction in tax filing costs, improved enforcement, and the immediate deployment of place-based tax policy.

Keywords: tax policy, consumption tax, progressivity

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Viswanathan, Manoj, Implementing a (Modern) Progressive Consumption Tax (April 29, 2021). Virginia Tax Review, Forthcoming, UC Hastings Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Manoj Viswanathan (Contact Author)

UC Hastings Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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