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Are Consumption Taxes Regressive?

John Creedy

Australian Economic Review, 1998, vol. 31, issue 2, 107-116

Abstract: It is often argued that a general consumption tax is necessarily regressive, particularly because households with high incomes typically save relatively more than those with low incomes. This paper uses very simple tax models to examine the combination of income and consumption taxes. It suggests that it is preferable to consider the overall impact of all taxes and transfers rather than relating payments of a single tax to gross income, instead of the relevant tax base. Insofar as savings might be relevant, attention should be given to the income tax treatment of investment income.

Date: 1998
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