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Tax-to-GDP ratio in 2015 continued to vary by 1 to 2 across EU

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Staff Writer | November 28, 2016
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Europe   Taxation in the EU member sates

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, meaning the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of GDP, stood at 40.0% in the European Union (EU) in 2015, stable compared with 2014.

In the euro area, tax revenue accounted in 2015 for 41.4% of GDP, slightly down from 41.5% in 2014.

This is the first time since its low point in 2010 that the tax-to-GDP ratio in both zones did not increase, according to Eurostat.

The tax-to-GDP ratio varies significantly between member sates, with the highest share of taxes and social contributions in percentage of GDP in 2015 being recorded in France (47.9%) Denmark (47.6%) as well as Belgium (47.5%), followed by Austria (44.4%), Sweden (44.2%), Finland (44.1%) and Italy (43.5%).

At the opposite end of the scale, Ireland (24.4% - see country note), Romania (28.0%), Bulgaria (29.0%), Lithuania (29.4%) and Latvia (29.5%) registered the lowest ratios.

Compared with 2014, the tax-to-GDP ratio increased in 2015 in a majority of member sates, with the largest rises being observed in Lithuania (from 27.9% in 2014 to 29.4% in 2015) and Estonia (from 32.8% to 34.1%), ahead of Slovakia (from 31.3% to 32.4%), Hungary (from 38.3% to 39.2%) and Croatia (from 36.8% to 37.6%).

In contrast, decreases were recorded in eight member sates, notably in Ireland (from 29.9% in 2014 to 24.4% in 2015 – see country note) and Denmark (from 50.3% to 47.6%).


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