VAT is a transaction-based indirect tax which is levied at each step of the supply chain. End consumers generally bear the VAT cost while registered businesses collect and account for the tax, in a way acting as a tax collector on behalf of the Federal Tax Authority.
VAT is used in more than 180 countries around the world. All OECD countries except for the US have VAT (or a variation). While it feels exactly the same as a general sales tax to end-consumers, VAT is a more sophisticated tax and overcomes many challenges that affect the general sales tax.