The Role and Design of Net Wealth Taxes in the OECD

In series:OECD Tax Policy Studiesview more titles

Published on April 12, 2018

This report examines and assesses the current and historical use of net wealth taxes, defined as recurrent taxes on individual net assets, in OECD countries. It provides background on the use of wealth taxes over time in OECD countries as well as on trends in income and wealth inequality. It then assesses the case for and against the use of a net wealth tax to raise revenues and reduce inequality, based on efficiency, equity and tax administration considerations. The effects of personal capital income taxes and taxes on wealth transfers are also discussed to understand how these taxes interact with net wealth taxes. Finally, the report looks at practical tax design issues and shows that the way a net wealth tax is designed can have a significant impact on the effectiveness and fairness of the tax. The report concludes with a number of practical tax policy recommendations regarding net wealth taxes.


Executive summary
Overview of individual net wealth taxes in OECD countries
Trends in the distribution of income and wealth
The case for and against individual net wealth taxes
Net wealth tax design issues
Conclusions and policy implications
OECD questionnaire on current and historical net wealth taxes
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Press release & summary






Taxes are among the most effective tools governments have for reducing inequalities and bringing about more inclusive growth. Two new OECD reports – Taxation of Household Savings and The Role and Design of Net Wealth Taxes - assess how governments are using the taxation of personal savings and wealth and offer recommendations for more effective and more efficient tax policy.

OECD’s head of Tax Policy and Statistics David Bradbury, Senior Tax Economist Alastair Thomas and Tax Economist Sarah Perret discussed the key findings and answered questions in a live webinar on 12 April 2018.