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.
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.