Tax and the Economy

A Comparative Assessment of OECD Countries

This study draws on recent tax policy experience in a selection of OECD countries to provide an analysis of important current tax policy issues in a number of areas: corporate income tax; personal income tax and social security contributions; consumption tax; property and wealth taxes; devolving expenditure and taxing power; tax administration and enforcement.

Taxation is inevitable in modern economies to finance public spending, which is aimed at meeting fundamental economic and social objectives. However, efficiency losses associated with taxation need to be taken into account when the cost and benefits of public expenditure to be funded are being assessed. The public perception of the fairness of tax systems, the practical enforceability of tax rules and the cost arising from compliance are other important considerations.

Against this backdrop, the OECD has reviewed in the past two years the tax systems of a number of Member countries in its periodical Economic Surveys. The analysis and policy recommendations emerging from these reviews may provide some useful lessons for other OECD countries, and these are pulled together in this paper.

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