OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Options for Reforming the Finnish Tax System

This paper reviews the Finnish tax system and the scope for further tax reform. Finland is among the most egalitarian countries in the OECD and a high tax burden is required to finance the associated public spending. Nevertheless, capital and corporate income taxation was substantially and effectively reformed in the early 1990s, through significant rate cuts cum base broadening measures. But, despite income tax cuts since the mid-1990s, high taxes, especially on labour income, still hamper growth potential and distort economic behaviour. In this respect, the poor performance of the Finnish labour market is revealing. Tax reforms have a major role to play in improving the long-term performance of the Finnish economy. Though the scope is limited, the tax burden should be shifted as much as possible from labour to property and consumption, while the earned-income tax allowance should play a smaller role, enabling cuts in statutory rates. Redesigning social security contributions to ...


Keywords: earned-income tax allowance, tax reform, tax policy, taxation, Finland
JEL: H3: Public Economics / Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents; H2: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue; H7: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
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