Purpose and background of the publication | Structure of the publication
Sample charts | Table of contents | How to obtain this publication
Permanent URL: www.oecd.org/ctp/revenuestats
Number of tables: 210
Number of graphics: 15
Data on government sector receipts and on taxes in particular, are essential inputs to most structural economic descriptions and economic analyses of individual countries. They are also increasingly used in international comparisons.
This annual publication presents a unique set of detailed and internationally comparable tax revenue data in a common format for all OECD member countries from 1965 onwards. It also describes a conceptual framework to define which government receipts should be regarded as taxes and to classify different types of taxes.
The 2009 edition includes a Special Feature titled ‘Changes to the guidelines for attributing revenues to levels of government’.
Purpose and background of the publication
This is an annual publication providing internationally comparative data on tax revenue levels and tax structures in OECD member countries. The data for each country are presented in a standardised framework based upon the OECD classification of taxes and its Interpretative Guide described in Annex A to this Report.
In the main, tax revenue data for the most recent years are reported on an accrual basis. This has been the case since the 2004 edition when a switch was made away from the cash basis that was adopted in previous editions. The reasons for making this change were set out in the Special Feature S.2 of the 2003 edition and details of the practical implementation were given in Special Feature S.1 of the 2004 edition.
The tax revenues are primarily grouped into the following high level categories essentially representing the different bases on which taxes are charged:
- Taxes on income, profits and capital gains
- Social security contributions
- Taxes on payroll and workforce
- Taxes on property
- Taxes on goods and services
- Other taxes
Within these categories, the main second order of classification is according to whether the tax is paid by households or other entities. The Interpretative Guide initially provides a definition of tax revenues and then follows with a detailed discussion of both high level and specific classification issues. It also refers to border-line classification cases, where it is sometimes difficult to decide whether certain individual revenue flows should be classified as tax or non-tax revenues. The border-line issues are explored in §9-13 of the Interpretative Guide.
The majority of the data in the Report has been provided by Delegates to Working Party No. 2 on Tax Policy Analysis and Tax Statistics of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs. The exception is the data on non-tax revenues that are presented separately from the tax statistics in Part V of the publication. The source of the data on the latter revenue flows, which are of varying importance in government financing, is the International Monetary Funds’ (IMF) Government Finance Statistics Yearbook.
The most important of the other international tax classifications currently in use are from:
- the System of National Accounts (SNA)
- the European System of Integrated Economic Accounts of EU member States (ESA), which is primarily an elaboration of SNA, though differing from it in certain respects.
- the IMF Government Finance Statistics.
§82-86 and the table in Section H of the Interpretative Guide describe a detailed comparison of the definitions and classifications of tax revenues adopted by the OECD with those in these other systems. The SNA/ESA based figures can, with a few minor exceptions be reconciled to the figures in this Report as the OECD has adopted their criteria unless the contrary is specifically indicated. The IMF classification is almost identical to that used by the OECD.
Structure of the publication
The material is organised in five separate parts.
- this commences with a summary of tax trends over 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 in the measurement of tax revenues;
- section I.E discusses the impact of GDP revisions; and
- the 2009 edition also carries a Special Feature on changes to the guidelines for attributing revenues to levels of government.
- this part contains a set of comparative statistical tables describing tax revenues and tax structures for the years 1965-2007 (Section II.A);
- a series of comparative graphs describing the differences between countries (Section II.B); and
- corresponding 2008 data for those countries where they are available (Section II.C).
- a detailed breakdown of tax revenues is shown separately for each OECD member country for the years between 1965 and 2007 (Section III.A);
- a second series of tables shows how countries finance their social benefits (Section III.B); and
- a third section details taxes and social security contributions paid by general government (Section III.C).
- this Section contains a set of comparative tables providing a breakdown of the total tax revenues to general government into following sub-sectors: central, state; local and social security funds.
- it also describes tables for each OECD member country analysing the attribution of the tax revenues by level of government for the various tax types.
- A breakdown of non-tax revenues and grants is shown for each OECD member country. The source is the International Monetary Funds’ Government Finance Statistics Yearbook.
Chart A. Total tax ratio as percentage of GDP, 2007 (page 40)
Countries have been ranked by their total tax to GDP ratios.
Chart E. Changes in tax to GDP ratio (in percentage points) (page 44)
Table of contents
Part I. Tax Revenue Trends, 1965-2008
Tax Revenue Trends, 1965-2008
A. Tax ratios
B. Tax structures
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 Changes to the guidelines for attributing revenues to levels of government.
Part II. Tax Levels and Tax Structures, 1965-2007
A. Comparative tables, 1965-2007
B. Comparative charts, 1965-2007
C. Estimates of tax revenues, 2008
Part III. Country Tables, 1965-2007
A. Tax revenues
B. Financing social benefits
C. Social security contributions and payroll taxes paid by government
Part IV. Tax Revenues by Sub-sectors of General Government 1975, 1985 and 2007
Part V. Non-tax Revenues and Grants
Annex A. The OECD Classification of Taxes and Interpretative Guide
The OECD Classification of Taxes
The OECD Interpretative Guide
B. Basis of reporting
C. General classification criteria
D. Commentaries on items of the list
E. Conciliation with National Accounts
F. Memorandum item on the financing of social security benefits security benefits
G. Memorandum item on identifiable taxes paid by government
H. Relation of OECD classification of taxes to national accounting systems
I. Relation of OECD classification of taxes to the international monetary fund system
J. Comparison of the OECD classification of taxes with other international classifications
K. Attribution of tax revenues by sub-sectors of general government
How to obtain this publication
Readers can access the full version of Revenue Statistics 1965-2008, 2009 Edition as follows:
Revenue Statistics 1965-2007, 2008 Edition
Revenue Statistics 1965-2006, 2007 Edition
Revenue Statistics 1965-2005, 2006 Edition
Revenue Statistics 1965-2004 - 2005 Edition
Revenue Statistics 1965-2003: 2004 Edition
Revenue Statistics 1965-2001: 2002 Edition