Purpose and background of the publication / Structure of the publication / Sample tables /
Table of contents / Press release, audio presentations and related material / How to obtain this publication
Data on government sector receipts, and on taxes in particular, are basic inputs to most structural economic descriptions and economic analyses and are increasingly used in international comparisons. This annual publication gives a conceptual framework to define which government receipts should be regarded as taxes and to classify different types of taxes. It presents a unique set of detailed and internationally comparable tax data in a common format for all OECD countries from 1965 onwards.
Special Feature: Taxes Paid on Social Transfers
Purpose and background of the publication
The purpose of this annual publication is to provide internationally comparative data on tax levels and tax structures in member countries of the OECD. The taxes imposed in each country are presented in a standardised framework based upon the OECD classification of taxes and its Interpretative guide as contained in Annex A to this Report.
Starting in 2004, the data for recent years in this publication are mainly reported on an accrual basis, rather than the cash basis that has been used in previous editions. The reasons for this change were discussed in Special Feature S.2 of the 2003 edition. Details of the practical implementation of this change were given in Special Feature S.1 of the 2004 edition.
The criteria followed for the grouping of taxes are not affected by this change to accrual reporting and are primarily the basis on which a tax is charged and secondly whether households or other entities pay the tax. Borderline classification cases, where definitional issues and other difficulties arise, are noted in the Interpretative guide. Footnotes which accompany the country tables in Part III record where countries deviate from the guidelines.
The data for the Report has, for the most part, been provided by delegates to Working Party No. 2 on Tax Policy Analysis and Tax Statistics of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs. The OECD acknowledges the co-operation of the International Monetary Fund, whose classification of tax revenues – although in a number of respects less detailed – is almost identical to that of the OECD. The most important of the other classifications currently in use is the System of National Accounts (henceforth referred to as SNA) and the European System of Integrated Economic Accounts of EU member States (henceforth referred to as ESA), which is primarily an elaboration of SNA, though differing from it in certain respects. Subject to a few minor exceptions, SNA/ESA figures can be reconciled with the figures in the present Report, since SNA criteria and definitions have been adopted unless the contrary is specifically indicated.
Non-tax revenues, which are of varying importance in government financing, are presented separately from tax statistics in Part V of this publication. The borderline between tax and non-tax revenues is explored in §9-13 of the Interpretative guide.
Structure of the publication
The material is organised in five parts.
Part I summarises tax trends of the past 40 years focusing in turn on tax levels (Section I.A), tax structures (Section I.B) and taxes by level of government (Section I.D). Section I.C discusses the treatment of non-wastable tax credits, while Section I.E discusses the impact of GDP revisions. This year’s issue also carries a Special Feature on the taxes paid on social transfers.
Part II contains a set of comparative statistical tables for years 1965-2004 (Section II.A) and a series of comparative graphs which show the differences between countries as regards tax levels and tax structures (Section II.B). Estimates of 2005 tax revenues are presented in Section II.C for all countries for which such data are available.
Part III provides statistical tables with a detailed breakdown of tax revenues by country for years between 1965 and 2004 (Section III.A). A second series of tables shows how countries finance their social benefits (Section III.B), followed by of tables detailing taxes and social security contributions paid by general government (Section III.C).
Part IV attributes tax revenues to general government by the following sub-sectors: central, state; local and social security funds.
Part V provides data on revenues and grants on the basis of data taken from the IMF Government Finance Yearbook. Because of changes to the definition of non-tax revenues, explained introduction to Part V, it is no longer appropriate to combine figures for tax and revenues. Therefore, Part VI of the publication, which used to contain an overview revenues, non-tax revenues and grants, has been removed from this edition.
Chart A. Total tax ratio as percentage of GDP, 2004 (page 37)
Countries have been ranked by their total tax to GDP ratios.
Chart E. Changes in tax to GDP ratio (in percentage points) (page 42)
Table of contents
Part I. Tax Revenue Trends, 1965-2005
Tax Revenue Trends, 1965-2005
A. Tax Ratios
B. Tax Structure
C. Treatment of non-wastable tax credits
D. Taxes by level of government
E. The impact of GDP revisions on reported tax levels
S.1 Taxes paid on social transfers
Part II. Tax Levels and Tax Structures, 1965-2004
A. Comparative Tables, 1965-2004
B. Comparative Charts, 1965-2004
C. Estimates of Tax Revenues, 2005
Part III. Country Tables, 1965-2004
A. Tax Revenues
B. Financing Social Benefits
C. Social Security Contributions and Payroll Taxes Paid by Government
Part IV. Tax Revenues by Subsectors of General Government 1975, 1985 and 2004
Part V. Non-tax Revenues and Grants
Annex A. The OECD Classification of Taxes and Interpretative Guide
The OECD Interpretative Guide
B. Basis of reporting
C. General classification criteria
D. Commentaries on items of the list
E. Memorandum itemon the financing of social security benefits
F. Memorandum item on identifiable taxes paid by government
G. Relation of OECD classification of taxes to national accounting systems
H. Relation of OECD classification of taxes to the international monetary fund system
I. Comparison of the OECD classification of taxes with other international classifications
J. Attribution of tax revenues by sub-sectors of general government
Notes and References
Press release, audio presentations and related material
How to obtain this publication
Readers can access the full version of Revenue Statistics 1965-2005, 2006 Edition choosing from the following options:
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