Australian VAT Design and Federalism

In this article, the author outlines the historical context for the operation of the GST in Australia and its integration in the financial relations between the federal and state governments. The Australian experience is contrasted with Brazil’s federal and state VAT regimes and the Brazilian approach to the allocation of taxing rights. In this article, the author argues that the idea of centrally collecting a national VAT/GST to replace fragmented state taxes and then distributing the revenue on an untied basis to the states may be a pathway for reform for federal countries – but it is an approach that could both challenge and evolve the nature of the federation.