Table of Contents

  • This is the twelfth edition of Consumption Tax Trends, a biennial OECD publication. It presents cross-country comparative data relative to consumption taxes in OECD member countries, as at 1 January 2018. Tables using data from the National Accounts and data on tax revenue from Revenue Statistics 2018 are updated up to and including 2016. Price levels for fuel oils are updated as at 4th Quarter 2017 from Energy Prices and Taxes - Quarterly Statistics issued by the International Energy Agency. The country data for the report have, for the most part, been provided by delegates to the Committee on Fiscal Affairs’ Working Party N°9 on Consumption Taxes. The exchange rates used to convert national currencies into US dollars (USD) are average market rates for 2017 taken from the OECD Monetary and Financial Statistics, except for Tables 3.A.5 where market rates for 2016 are used as taxes and prices refer to the year 2016; and 2.A.5 and 2.A.8 where the Purchase Power Parity (PPP) rates for GDP are used as they provide for a better comparison of the value of VAT relief thresholds (PPP rates for GDP 2017 are extracted from the OECD Statistics Database).

  • Consumption taxes generally consist of general taxes on goods and services (“taxes on general consumption”), consisting of value-added tax (VAT) and its equivalent in several jurisdictions (goods and services tax, or GST); sales taxes, and other general taxes on goods and services; and taxes on specific goods and services, consisting primarily of excise taxes, customs and import duties, and taxes on specific services (such as insurance premiums and financial services).

  • This chapter describes the relative importance of consumption taxes as a source of tax revenues and the main features of these taxes. It shows the evolution of consumption tax revenues between 1965 and 2016. It describes the functioning of value added taxes (VAT) and of retail sales taxes (in the United States) and the main characteristics of consumption taxes on specific goods and services. It looks in some more detail at the application of VAT to international trade, more particularly at the challenges of applying VAT to cross-border trade and at the International VAT/GST Guidelines that the OECD has developed as the global standard to address these challenges.

  • This chapter describes a selection of key features of VAT regimes in OECD countries, i.e. tax rates, exemptions, specific restrictions to input tax credit, registration and collection thresholds and the application of margin schemes. It is complemented with a technical discussion of the rationale and impact of reduced VAT rates.

  • This chapter describes the main features of selected excise duties and their impact on revenue, customer behaviour and markets. It explains the respective impact of ad quantum and ad valorem taxes and how they interact. It shows the detailed excise tax rates on beer, wine, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and mineral oil products in OECD countries.

  • This chapter describes the main features of vehicle taxes and their use for influencing customer behaviour, in particular within the context of environmental policies. It looks at the taxes on the sale and registration of vehicles and recurrent taxes on the use of motor vehicles and their components and provides comparative statistics on the level of these taxes

  • Almost all countries levy general consumption taxes i.e. taxes on the sale of most goods and services. The general consumption tax applied by the majority of those countries is value added tax (VAT The acronym “VAT” refers to any national tax that embodies the basic features of a value added tax as described in Chapter 1, by whatever name or acronym it is known e.g. “Goods and Services Tax” (“GST”)) i.e. a tax collected at all stages of the processes of production and distribution of goods and services, accumulation of the tax being prevented by allowing businesses to deduct the tax they incur on their inputs from the tax they collect on their outputs. Exports of goods and services are generally within the scope of VAT, although they are commonly zero rated. On the other hand, the importation of goods and services is subject to tax to ensure the neutrality of the tax system (see Chapter 1). A minority of countries (and some sub-national entities) apply retail sales taxes, i.e. single-stage taxes on goods and services supplied to final consumers (these are not listed in the table below). All OECD countries levy VAT, except the United States, where resale sales taxes are levied at sub-national level (see Chapter 1).