Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Value Added Tax (VAT)

What it is:

A value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax added to a product's sales price. It represents a tax on the "value added" to the product throughout its production process. 

How it works (Example):

The VAT system is invoice-based. Each seller in the product chain includes a VAT charge on the buyer's invoice. Under a VAT taxation system, all sellers collect the tax and then pay it to the government. The VAT gives sellers along the supply chain a direct economic motivation to collect the tax, thereby reducing the incidence of tax evasion

Don't confuse the VAT with sales tax. Under a sales tax, the tax is collected only once at the consumer's point of purchase. The VAT tax, however, is collected every time a business purchases products from other businesses within the product's supply chain.

Why it Matters:

The VAT is a highly efficient flat consumption tax that reduces the incidence of non-compliance. More than 100 countries have adopted it -- with rates ranging from 10% - 25%.

Investors who are looking for safer overseas investments should consider whether the prospective country uses a VAT, which indicates a more stable fiscal environment.