VAT’s Regressivity: New Data for an Old Debate

The public perception of VAT as a regressive tax was recently challenged by a study published in the OECD Taxation Working Papers. However, more than just an echo of the argument that it is possible to classify VAT as “proportional or slightly progressive”, that study offers an outstanding assessment on VAT’s progressivity, redistribution, inequality and poverty effects. Building upon these findings and distinguishing between economics and tax policy standpoints, in this article the author proposes that from a tax policy perspective VAT is (and must be recognized and referred to as) a regressive tax.