Tax burden nears peak

Denmark is confirmed as the OECD’s highest-tax country, followed by Sweden, while Mexico and Turkey remain the lowest-taxing countries, the latest 2008 edition of Revenue Statistics says. Denmark’s tax-to-GDP ratio stood at 48.9% in 2007, while Turkey’s was at 23.7% of GDP.
Overall, the average tax burden in the 30 OECD countries–that is, tax revenue as a percentage of GDP ratio–is close to its historic peak of 36.1% in 2000. In 2006, the latest year for complete OECD figures, the tax-to- GDP ratio had edged up a percentage point to 35.9%, compared with 2005.Click here for larger graph.The latest figures show a continued rise in revenues from corporate income taxes to an average 3.9% of GDP in 2006, compared with 3.7% in 2005 and 3.6% in 2000. That upward trend is unlikely to continue in the current economic slowdown, the OECD has warned, and some countries are already downgrading their revenue forecasts from the financial sector.In 2007, tax burdens rose in 11 of the 26 countries for which provisional figures are available and fell in 13 others. The biggest year-to-year increases were in Hungary, from 37.1% in 2006 to 39.3% in 2007, and the biggest drop was in the Netherlands, from an estimated 39.3% to an estimated 38%. ©OECD Observer No 269 October 2008

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