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The tax burden in Greece declined by 0.2 percentage points from 33.7% to 33.5% in 2013. The corresponding figure for the OECD average was an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 33.7% to 34.1%. The Greek standard VAT rate is 23%, which is well above the OECD average. The average VAT/GST standard rate in the OECD was 19.1% on 1 January 2014.
Greece has signed the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral agreement that was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD and that is open for signature to all countries.
OECD countries acknowledge that taxes must play a role in the process of fiscal consolidation as they battle unprecedented budget deficits. In 2010, the majority of OECD governments have stabilised their tax to GDP, with the average ratio moving up slightly from 33.8% in 2009 to 33.9% in 2010.
Since 2004, the fiscal deficit has been brought down by over 5% of GDP to below the 3% limit in 2006. The government plans a more gradual reduction so that overall balance or surplus is reached no later than 2010. These and other points are discussed in this working paper.
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This working paper suggests that despite the considerable progress, in recent years, in broadening the tax base and improving tax compliance as well as administration, more needs to be done to enhance efficiency and equity and the overall performance of the tax system.
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The main focus of this working paper is on the factors of the Greek pay-as-you-go system which result in its future unsustainability.
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This working paper suggests that a successful reform of public enterprises would improve productivity in key sectors of the Greek economy, and thus provide essential inputs at lower cost to the economy as a whole.