OECD Tax Policy Studies

1990-0538 (online)
1990-0546 (print)
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This series consists of studies analysing the effects of tax policies that have occurred in the past or might be considered for the future. Its primary purpose is to assist policy makers in designing tax policies that are suited to their objectives.

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Tax Burdens

Tax Burdens

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28 Apr 2000
9789264181588 (PDF) ;9789264171374(print)

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In response to growing demand by policy-makers, various measures to assess tax burdens of households, individual firms and the business sector as a whole have been developed. This study reviews some of the most common measures used to gauge tax burdens of households and corporations. In addition, it provides some illustrative numbers from various sources on tax rates and tax burdens in OECD countries. The study concludes that all current measures reviewed have at least some important shortcomings. Results based on these measures should therefore be interpreted with their limitations in mind, and judged with due caution when used to address policy questions.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Measuring Tax Burdens
-Nominal Tax Rates
-Tax-to-GDP Ratios
-Average Tax Rates
-Marginal Effective Tax Rates
-Structure of the Report
Chapter 2. Nominal Income Tax Rates
-The Structure of Personal Income Tax Rates
-"All-In" Rates of Taxes on Personal Income
-High Implicit Tax Rates for the Poor
-Nominal Top Rates by Type of Income
-The Structure of Corporate Income Tax Rates
-Corporate Income Tax and Shareholder Taxation
Chapter 3. Tax-to-GDP Ratios
-Tax Expenditures versus Direct Expenditures
-The Treatment of Social Security Benefits
-The Relationship between Tax Base and GDP, and Economic Cycle Effects
-Revisions to the Measurement of GDP
Chapter 4. Average Tax Rates and the Need for Micro-Data
-Two Frameworks for Assessing Corporate Tax Burdens
-Implicit ATRs
-Backward-Looking (Adjusted Profit-Based) ATRs
Chapter 5. Marginal Tax Rates
-Defining Marginal Effective Tax Rates
-Analysis of the No-Tax Case
-Analysis of a Simple Corporate Income Tax
-Analysis of Targeted Corporate Tax Instruments
-Limitations of METR Analysis
Chapter 6. Policy Relevance of Alternative Tax Burden Measures
-Some Illustrative Results
-Assessing the Tax Burden on "Old" versus "New" Capital
-Assessing the Corporate Tax Burden from an Equity Perspective
-Assessing the Impact of Corporaate Taxation on Investment Incentives
Annexes to Chapters
-2A. Measuring the Overall Statutory Corporate Income Tax Rate in Japan
-2B. The Effects of Dividend Taxation and Integration Relief
-4A. The OECD Classification of Taxes
-4B. Illustration of the Application of Micro-Data
-6A. Backward- and Forward-Looking Corporate Tax Rate Results
-6B. Implicit Average Tax Rates - Illustration o the Effect of Treatment of Interest
-6C. Statement on the Usefulness of METR Analsis for Tax Policy Purposes

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