value-added tax


Definition of value-added tax

: an incremental excise that is levied on the value added at each stage of the processing of a raw material or the production and distribution of a commodity and that typically has the impact of a sales tax on the ultimate consumer

Examples of value-added tax in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Under the region’s customs union, imports of pasta face a tariff of 20% and also value-added tax of 15%. The Economist, "Spaghetti smugglers of the Sahara," 15 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'value-added tax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of value-added tax

1935, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near value-added tax




value-added tax


value date

value for money

Statistics for value-added tax

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for value-added tax

The first known use of value-added tax was in 1935

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More Definitions for value-added tax

value-added tax


Financial Definition of value-added tax

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

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.

Source: Investing Answers

value-added tax


English Language Learners Definition of value-added tax

: a tax that is added to products at each stage of their production

value-added tax

value-ad·​ded tax

Legal Definition of value-added tax

: a tax levied at each addition of value in the processing of a raw material, the performance of a service, or the production and distribution of a commodity with each payer except the consumer reimbursed from payment at the next stage

called also VAT

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