Ad Valorem Tax

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Ad Valorem Tax



What is the dictionary definition of Ad Valorem Tax?

Dictionary Definition


An ad valorem tax is a tax imposed on the value of assets like personal property and real estate. This form of taxation is one of the major forms of government revenue. They can also be levied as duty on imported items.

Literally, Ad valorem means “according to value” in Latin. The ad valorem tax, which is levied on ownership of assets, differs from most other taxes as it is not imposed based on transactions but on ownership. The sales tax and the value-added tax are transactional taxes while property tax is an ad valorem tax.


Full Definition of Ad Valorem Tax


An ad valorem tax is a tax based on a calculated percentage of the value of property or goods. The “ad valorem” in ad valorem tax is a Latin term meaning “according to value.”

Many local governments derive a majority of their revenue from various ad valorem taxes. Legislatures set the size of the ad valorem tax rate and tax assessors to determine the value of the property that will be subject to such an ad valorem tax.

Property taxes assessed on real estate properties are a type of ad valorem tax. An ad valorem tax can also be imposed on imported goods (i.e. import tariffs) or certain transferred property (i.e. inheritance tax).

The ad valorem tax may be imposed at the time of purchase or on a periodic basis (i.e. annual basis). If imposed at the time of purchase, an ad valorem tax can be considered the equivalent of a sales tax or a value-added tax (i.e. VAT).


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Ad Valorem Tax are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th March, 2020 | 2 Views.