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.
In the course of introducing a market-oriented tax system, most Central and Eastern European countries are actively considering the merits of a value-added tax (VAT). This paper examines a wide range of social, economic, structural, and administrative issues that are pertinent to the introduction of a VAT. These issues have regard to the burden distribution of the VAT, its effect on the price level and economic growth, as well as the coverage of the tax, the definition of the base, and the choice of the rate structure. Various legal and administrative aspects are also reviewed. The paper draws on the experience with value-added taxation of the member states of the European Community (EC) and other countries that belong to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).