indirect tax

  

Definition

Charge levied by the State on consumption, expenditure, privilege, or right but not on income or property. Customs duties levied on imports, excise duties on production, sales tax or value added tax (VAT) at some stage in production-distribution process, are examples of indirect taxes because they are not levied directly on the income of the consumer or earner. Since they are less obvious than income tax (because they don't show up on the wage slip) politicians are tempted to increase them to generate more state revenue. Also called consumption taxes, they are regressive measures because they are not based on the ability to pay principle.

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