Improving public sector efficiency can help to meet two conflicting objectives: ensuring fiscal consolidation and maintaining room for growth-friendly spending.
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The Slovak Republic is ranked 12th among the 34 OECD member countries in decreasing order with a tax wedge for an average single worker at 41.2% in 2014, compared with the OECD average of 36.0%.
The Slovak Republic was among the fastest growing OECD economies in the last decade. It is broadly recognised that the 2004 tax reform contributed to this success. Ten years after this fundamental reform, however, the time has come to re-evaluate some of the key characteristics of the Slovak tax system.
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The tax burden in the Slovak Republic increased by 1.5 percentage points from 28.1% to 29.6%, the third highest rise amongst member countries in 2013. The OECD average was an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 33.7% to 34.1%. The Slovak standard VAT rate is 20%, which is above the OECD average. The average VAT/GST standard rate in the OECD was 19.1% on 1 January 2014.
The international community continues making progress toward greater cooperation to ensure effective information exchange in tax matters. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes issued today 12 new reports that highlight action being taken by jurisdictions to implement the international standard for exchange of information on request.
As a further sign of international efforts to crack down on tax offenders, 12 more countries have signed, or committed to sign, the OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. In addition, another 6 countries have ratified the Convention.
The challenge for fiscal policy in Slovakia is to achieve fiscal consolidation in a way which supports the fragile recovery and protects spending on areas which are important for re-embarking on a trajectory of high trend growth and underpinning a catch-up in living standards.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has just completed peer reviews of 11 jurisdictions. This brings to 70 the number of peer review reports completed since March 2010.
This report summarises the legal and regulatory framework for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes in the Slovak Republic.
Raising efficiency in tax collection (notably VAT) is urgently needed, plans to unify the collection of tax and social security contributions should be implemented swiftly and drawing on EU funds needs to become more efficient.