Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Summary of tax rates in the Eurozone

Here is a good summary of key tax rates across the Eurozone as well as recent changes. As always it's a delicate balance between revenue and growth. In Spain (and Italy to some extent) tax increases have materially dampened economic activity.

Source: GS

Below are Goldman's observations on taxation in the Eurozone:
GS: Many countries implementing fiscal adjustment have increased their VAT rate. ... the three programme countries - Greece, Portugal, and Ireland - have the highest current VAT rate, at 23%. Italy raised its standard VAT by 1ppt to 21%, with another increase planned for next year. Spain also increased both its standard and reduced rates this month. This contrasts with France, which has not changed its VAT rate. Indeed, the newly elected parliament voted against a planned hike in VAT initiated by the previous government. The measure was intended to allow a reduction in French employers' contributions to the social security system. But the new government judged the measure ‘unfair’ for the French consumer. Finance minister Moscovici has moved away from any increase in VAT or CSG social taxes to cut the budget deficit, although they cannot be ruled out, in our view.

... Corporate tax rates have shown more stability. Since 2009, the corporate tax rate has changed in just two countries: Portugal has gradually raised it from 26.5% to 31.5%, while Greece has lowered its rate from 25% to 20%. Ireland in particular has a much lower rate than in the other countries.
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