Proposals to increase environmentally related taxes are often challenged on competitiveness grounds. The concern is that value creation in certain sectors might decline domestically if a country introduces environmentally related taxes unilaterally. This paper provides evidence on the short-term competitiveness impacts of the German electricity tax introduced unilaterally in 1999.
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Germany has the 3rd highest tax wedge among the 34 OECD member countries. The average single worker in Germany faced a tax wedge of 49.3% in 2014 compared with the OECD average of 36.0%.
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The tax burden in Germany increased by 0.2 percentage points from 36.5% to 36.7% in 2013. The corresponding figure for the OECD average was an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 33.7% to 34.1%. The German standard VAT rate is 19%, which is very close to the OECD average. The average VAT/GST standard rate in the OECD was 19.1% on 1 January 2014.
"We have to transition to more transparent, multilateral mechanisms. Thanks to your hard work, taxation is finally catching up with globalisation, making it more redistributive, harnessing its potential for social progress and justice, making people’s lives better. People sometimes forget that this is what taxation, indeed what economics is all about.", said the OECD Secretary-General at the Global Forum.
This paper examines the carbon prices that have emerged from the implementation of three key market-based instruments in Germany: energy taxes, vehicle taxes and the EU Emissions Trading System. It also reviews the use of feed-in tariffs to promote electricity generation from renewable sources, with a focus on the implied GHG abatement costs and the interactions with other environmental policy instruments.
The Isle of Man and Germany announced that they have signed a bilateral agreement for the exchange of information for tax purposes, bringing to 13 the number of such agreements entered into by the Isle of Man.
Germany has joined 15 other countries in signing the OECD-Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, in a step that will help it to combat cross-border tax evasion more effectively in today’s open global economy.