Tax Structures in OECD Countries – An Empirical Analysis
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Numerous studies indicate that the structure of taxation (measured by the share of revenue from individual taxes in total tax revenue) is of greater significance for economic growth than the level of fiscalism measured by the tax revenue to GDP ratio. Hence, it is reasonable to seek an answer to the question whether the tendencies occurring in tax systems of particular countries indeed reflect the plans to implement tax structures which are economic growth-friendly. Thus, the aim of the paper is to assess the influence of the changes in the OECD countries’ tax structure on economic growth. The subject of the study was OECD member states in the period of 2000–2012. The study period was selected in such a way as to include the period preceding the financial crisis, the period of the crisis, as well as the years following the crisis. In the analysis, four parameters charactering tax systems were used: the ratio of tax revenues to GDP, which describes the overall level of tax burden in the examined countries and three parameters charactering the tax revenue structure of tax systems, i.e. the share of income taxes in total tax revenue, the share of social security contributions in total tax revenue and the share of consumption taxes in total tax revenue. The main conclusions drawn on the basis of the carried out study indicate that: 1) there is no sufficient evidence that the fiscalism level measured by the tax revenue to GDP ratio has negative influence on economic growth; 2) both the high share of indirect taxes and high share of income taxes support economic growth, although consumption taxes have a stronger influence on GDP dynamics than income taxes; 3) the only group of tax burdens, which has definitely negative influence on economic growth are social security contributions, 4) in OECD countries no significant changes were observed towards the increase of the importance of growth-friendly consumption taxes.
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