I found a expression in my text book "levy a tax on all imported goods.".

As far as I know taxes are charged for each products, why in this case you use singular form "a tax"?

Is it also OK, if I use "levy taxes on all imported goods."?

  • 2
    You write: As far as I know taxes are charged for each products. A single tax, or multiple taxes, may be levied on the sale of a product. There could be a sales tax and/or an excise tax and/or a value-added tax and/or other special taxes (e.g. a "sin" tax). Also, you should write "for each product" [singular] not "for each products" [plural]. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 24 '15 at 12:15

"A tax" implies a single law, with a single coherent payment scheme. (There might be graduated rates, but the rates are calculated according to a "schedule", and are paid in a consistent manner.) The tax might apply to multiple kinds of goods. For example, there might be a 4% import duty that affects all goods that are imported, including iron, rice, and beans.

Yes, you can also use "levy taxes on all imported goods." This might mean the same thing, or it might mean that there are different taxes on different imported goods. For example, iron might have a tax by weight, rice might have a tax by volume, and beans might have a different rate of taxation by volume.

In the context of taxes on imports and/or exports, the term "duty" is often used as a synonym for "tax". For example, in the phrase "customs duties". This meaning of "duty" is different from the usual meaning of "responsibility that one is honor-bound to perform" or "job responsibility".

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