Consumption Tax

DEFINITION of 'Consumption Tax'

A tax on the purchase of a good or service. Consumption taxes can take the form of sales taxes, tariffs, excise and other taxes on consumed goods and services. The term can also refer to a taxing system as a whole where people are taxed based on how much they consume rather than how much they add to the economy (income tax).

BREAKING DOWN 'Consumption Tax'

The consumption tax is not a new idea. It was used by the U.S. government for much of our history before being replaced with an income tax. The Bush administration backed a version of this in 2003, although the proposal was defeated. Ideally, a properly designed consumption tax system would reward savers and penalize spenders.

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