The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper highlights key macroeconomic issues related to VAT harmonization. A model is developed which emphasizes the effects of changes in the time profile of various taxes on international behavior. Dynamic simulations reveal that the macroeconomic and welfare implications of VAT harmonization, including conflicts of interest, depend critically on the tax system and the degree of substitution governing temporal and intertemporal allocations. We also demonstrate that the effects of revenue-neutral tax conversions between income and consumption tax systems undertaken by a single country depend critically on international differences in behavior.