Centre for Tax Policy and Administration


Taxation of SMEs in OECD and G20 Countries

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are important for their contribution to employment, innovation, economic growth and diversity. This report examines the tax treatment of SMEs, the case for SME preferences, and the use of tax preferences and simplification measures for SMEs in thirty-nine OECD and G20 countries. It finds that many of the tax systems examined provide incentives to incorporate and to distribute income in certain types of capital form. Ideally, taxes should be neutral with regard to the business decisions of SMEs, including decisions related to their creation, form and growth. However, certain features of the tax system may disproportionately affect SMEs, for example, the asymmetric treatment of profits and losses, a bias toward debt over corporate equity, and the higher fixed costs of tax and regulatory compliance for small businesses. This report recommends that measures designed to address these concerns be carefully targeted to affected firms and seek to avoid introducing further distortions and complexity.

Published on September 05, 2015

In series:OECD Tax Policy Studiesview more titles


Foreword and Acknowledgements
Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
The role of SMEs in domestic economies
Income taxation of SMEs
Tax preferences for SMEs
Tax compliance and SMEs
Annexes3 chapters available
Exchange rates
Detailed SME characteristics from questionnaire responses
Employer, employee and self-employed social security contributions
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