Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.

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Session Overview
H04: VAT
Friday, 20/Aug/2021:
9:00am - 10:30am

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9:00am - 9:22am

Using Administrative Data to Assess the Impact of the Pandemic in Low-income Countries: An Application with VAT Data in Rwanda

Giulia Mascagni, Adrienne Lees

IDS / ICTD, United Kingdom

This paper uses administrative data from VAT returns to provide insights on the impact of the pandemic in Rwanda. We show that the lockdown had a severe impact on the economy, which quickly rebounded after restrictions were lifted. The overall loss amounts to 5% of GDP. In absolute terms, losses are concentrated amongst the largest firms. In proportional terms, small firms suffered particularly hard. Firms in accommodation, food and transport, and those based in Kigali, were particularly affected by the crisis. This decline in economic activity translates in a 5.1% loss in VAT revenue. Our results offer policymakers evidence on the real impact of the crisis, both on aggregate and disaggregated by level of income, sector, and location. In a literature that has largely focused on higher-income countries, these results complement projections to inform appropriate policy responses in the specific context of low-income countries.

Mascagni-Using Administrative Data to Assess the Impact of the Pandemic-441.pdf

9:22am - 9:45am

VAT Fraud and Reverse Charge: Empirical Evidence from VAT Returns

Annalisa Tassi, Thiess Buettner

FAU, Germany

We explore the effects of a key anti-fraud measure on VAT returns. Exploiting the German VAT return data at industry level, we find that the total amount of input VAT claims were reduced significantly after the expansion of the scope of the so-called "reverse-charge'' mechanism. The introduction of reverse charge means that tax-liability is shifted from the seller to the buyer. Our results point to a significant volume of VAT fraud before the implementation of this measure. The effects on reported sales and EU exports point to a decline of transactions and support the existence of significant fraud. Based on our estimates we quantify the amount of VAT fraud stopped by reverse charge in the years between 2009 and 2018 to be around 2.9% of VAT revenues.

Tassi-VAT Fraud and Reverse Charge-396.pdf

9:45am - 10:07am

Up and Down the Value-Added Tax

Susana Peralta, João Pereira dos Santos, Pedro Tavares de Sousa

Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal

This paper assesses the incidence of a large and temporary increase in value-added taxfor Portuguese restaurants and other catering services. In 2012 the tax increased from 13%to 23% and it was brought back down in July of 2016. Combining data on all non-financial firms in Portugal between 2006 and 2017 we estimate effects upon four agents: consumers,capital owners, and workers. We show that firm-owners pass on to consumers around 40%of the VAT increase while the pass-through after the repeal is zero. Through a Difference-in-Differences strategy we find that: the tax increase did not harm employees as severely asfirm’s margins, leading employers to later pocket most of the tax cut benefits

Peralta-Up and Down the Value-Added Tax-309.pdf

10:07am - 10:30am

VAT Invoice Information And Compliance Behavior: Evidence From Thailand

Athiphat Muthitacharoen1, Wonma Wanichthaworn2, Trongwut Burong2

1Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; 2Revenue Department, Thailand

How do firms respond to increased information available to tax authority? We employ a difference-in-difference approach to examine the effects of a policy that increases the amount of information on VAT invoice on firm behavior in an environment with large informality. We use a de-identified panel of VAT and corporate income tax returns that comprises the universe of Thai firms. Our finding indicates that increasing the information available to tax authority has a large and significant impact on compliance of both VAT and corporate income tax.

Muthitacharoen-VAT Invoice Information And Compliance Behavior-280.pdf

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