The purpose of this annual publication is to provide internationally comparative data on tax levels and tax structures in member countries of the OECD. The taxes imposed in each country are presented in a standardised framework based upon the OECD classification of taxes and its Interpretative guide as contained in Annex A to this Report.
Tax Revenue Trends, 1965-2006
This annual Report seeks to present detailed internationally comparable data on the tax revenues of OECD countries for all strata of government. The present edition provides information on tax revenues in 1965-2005. In addition, revenue estimates for 2006 are included. For the purpose of this Report the term "taxes" is confined to compulsory, unrequited payments to general government. Taxes are unrequited in the sense that benefits provided by government to taxpayers are not normally in proportion to their payments. In the OECD classification, taxes are classified by the base of the tax: income and profits (heading 1000), payroll (heading 3000), property (heading 4000), consumption (heading 5000) and other taxes (heading 6000). Compulsory social security contributions paid to general government are treated as taxes, classified under heading 2000. Both the tax concept and the classification of taxes are set out in the Interpretative guide to the Revenue Statistics; see Annex A to this Report.
In the last few years, there has been a growing interest in the balance between direct and indirect taxes, with commentators claiming either that the balance of taxation has moved towards indirect taxes or that it should, and sometimes both. The purpose of this special feature is to examine the question of whether there has, in fact, been a shift in the balance between direct and indirect taxes in OECD countries. Section 2 motivates this examination by briefly reviewing the arguments for and against a shift in the balance of taxation, which are discussed more fully in the OECD Policy Brief "Are Indirect Taxes the Way of the Future?". Section 3 follows with a consideration of how to define direct and indirect taxes. This is followed in Section 4 with an examination of the empirical evidence. Section 5 provides a conclusion.
Tax Levels and Tax Structures, 1965-2005
Treatment of capital transfers. Footnote 1 in Tables 1 to 35 refers to the treatment of the capital transfers that some countries make to account for taxes that have been assessed but not collected. The capital transfer has been subtracted from the total tax revenue and this reduction has been allocated between tax headings in proportion to their tax revenues. This applies to Denmark from 1990, France from 1992, the Slovak Republic from 1998-2002 and Spain from 2000. The allocation of tax revenues between tax headings for Portugal in 2005 have been estimated by the Secretariat, on the basis of the share of each heading in tax revenue in 2004.
Comparative Charts, 1965-2005
Social Security Contributions and Payroll Taxes Paid by Government
During the revision of the Interpretative guide in 1984, the question arose of how to treat taxes paid by government. The two most prominent examples of such taxes are social security contributions and payroll taxes paid by government in respect of its employees. After a long discussion it was decided that the data shown in this publication should continue to include taxes paid by government (see §5 of the Interpretative guide in Annex A).
Tax Revenues by Subsectors of General Government 1975, 1985 and 2005
The tax data presented in this part of the Report have been attributed to the sub-sectors of general government identified in Section J of the Interpretative guide (see Annex A) and the attribution criteria used are those set out in that guide. The column "supranational" reports the customs duties collected by the nineteen EU member States on behalf of the European Union.
Non-Tax Revenues and Grants
Government current receipts, other than the proceeds of borrowing and repayments of previous government lending, comprise tax revenue, current non-tax revenue and grants. Up to the present page, this publication has provided data on tax revenue which for all countries provide the bulk of revenue. In this part summary information, on the basis of data collected by the International Monetary Fund, is provided on current non-tax revenue and grants in order to have a more complete view of the different ways in which OECD governments finance their expenditures.
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