Thursday, April 10, 2008

You Call That Value?

I've paid it in Europe, I've looked it up on Wikipedia, I even read this BBC article about it: I still don't understand the Value Added Tax. And frankly, I'm not sure which of the illustrations is more difficult for me to decipher: the table at the bottom of the BBC article that shows which cookies (that's right, I said it: cookies!) get a VAT and what don't, or the Wikipedia chart that shows how the VAT affects supply, demand and tax revenue. I guess the VAT makes sense in that if Company X makes 300,000 widgets and sells them to Retailer Y, which then sells only 1 widget, the government still gets some of the tax revenue. But the amount of paperwork the system would seem to require puts me in mind of DeNiro's demise in Terry Gilliam's Brazil!

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