Tax policy analysis

Revenue Statistics - taxes by level of government


Table 1.4 shows the relative share of tax revenues attributed to the various sub-sectors of general government and how it has changed between 1975 and 2014. 

Federal and Regional countries

  • In 2014, the share of central government receipts in the eight federal OECD countries varied from 31% in Germany to 80% in Australia.
  • In 2014, the share of the states varied from 2% in Austria, 4% in Mexico and 5% in Belgium to 39% in Canada. The share of local government varied from 2% in Mexico to 15% in Switzerland.
  •  Between 1975 and 2014, the share of federal government revenues declined by about eight percentage points in Belgium and less rapidly in Canada, Germany and the United States.
  •  The share of federal government revenues increased in Austria and Switzerland by 15 and five percentage points respectively. There was little change in Australia and Mexico.
  •  Of the seven federal countries with social security funds the share increased in five, the exceptions being Canada and Mexico where it slightly declined.
  •  Spain is now classified as a regional rather than a unitary country because of its highly decentralised political structure. In 2014, the share of central government receipts was 42% compared with 14% for the regional government. Between 1975 and 2014, the share of local government receipts increased from 4% to 10% and the share of social security funds declined from 48% to 34%.

Unitary countries

  • In unitary OECD countries, the share of central government receipts in 2014 varied from 34% in France and 37% in Japan to 93% in New Zealand.
  • The local government share varied from 1% in Estonia and in the Czech Republic to 37% in Sweden.
  • Between 1975 and 2014, there have been shifts to local government of 5 percentage points or more in six countries - France, Iceland, Italy, Korea, Portugal and Sweden and smaller increase in the Netherlands. Shifts of 5 percentage points or more in the other direction occurred in two countries - Norway and the United Kingdom.
  • Between 1975 and 2014, there were increases in the share of social security funds of 7 or more percentage points in four countries - Finland, France, Japan and Korea - and corresponding decreases in three others - Italy, Norway and Portugal. In two other countries - Poland and Turkey - the data showed an increase of 7 percentage points or more between 1995 and 2014.
  • The guidelines for attributing these revenue shares to the different levels of government are based on the final version of the 2008 System of National Accounts. These guidelines are discussed in the special feature S.1 in the 2011 edition of OECD Revenue Statistics.

EU member states in the OECD

  • The “supranational” column of Table 1.4 reports taxes collected on behalf of the European Union (EU) by the twenty-one EU member states that are members of the OECD. For years prior 1998, custom duties collected on behalf of the EU by national tax administrations of the EU member states are included under heading 5123. From 1998 onwards, these custom duties are shown as a “memorandum” item since they represent a tax imposed by the EU and collected by national administrations. However they continue to be part of the aggregate revenue figures which represent all taxes imposed within the territory of EU member states. This approach ensures consistency of the time series, and ensures that the tax to GDP ratio measures are immune to changes in the relative share of customs duties in: 1) the composition of EU financing resources; and 2) national tax mixes of EU member states. The amounts of customs duties concerned are shown in Table 1.5.


Downloadable tables/figures

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