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Introduction

Introduction
This publication presents time series of tax revenue data from National Accounts for the twenty-seven Member
States, Norway and Iceland. It provides a breakdown of taxes according to different classifications: by type of
taxes (direct taxes, indirect taxes, social contributions), by level of government (central, state, local, social security
funds, EU institutions), and by type of tax base (consumption, labour, capital). It also compiles data for the subgroups of environmental and property taxes.
The breakdown of tax revenue data in percentage of GDP provides measures of the tax burden and of the structure
of taxation in the different Member States, as well as developments over time, raw and cyclically-adjusted. As for
the tax burden by tax base, besides providing a breakdown, the report computes implicit tax rates (ITR). ITRs
provide a measure of the effective average tax burden on different types of economic income or activities; in each
case, the ITR expresses aggregate tax revenues as a percentage of the potential tax base.
The data on tax revenues by type of tax and by level of government are obtained by aggregating the tax
transactions in National Accounts. These are provided by Member States to Eurostat and follow the classification
prescribed by the 'European System of Accounts' (ESA95)(1). The economic classification of taxes and the
categorisation of environmental and property taxes is not standard and is computed specifically for this
publication, using more detailed tax revenue data provided by the Member States along with National Accounts
data, the National Tax List. The computation of the ITRs requires additional assumptions and calculations.
Ministries of Finance in the Member States have in particular helped to produce the required data. A
comprehensive overview of the methodology and data used for this purpose is available at the following page:
http://ec.europa.eu/taxtrends.
This edition of the publication 'Taxation trends in the European Union' covers the 1995-2010 period,
corresponding to the years for which National Accounts data are generally available in the ESA95 format.
The publication is divided in two parts. Part I reviews the major trends and developments in taxation across the
EU. It also includes for the first time this year data on property taxation for all EU Member States. Part II contains
29 country chapters, which review the main trends in the development of the overall tax burden and give an
overview of the tax system and of the main recent policy changes. The table of statistics provided for each country
contains four blocks of data: A - Structure of revenues in % of GDP, including cyclically adjusted tax revenues; B
- Structure according to level of government in % of total taxation; C - Structure by type of tax base in % of GDP,
including the sub-group of environmental taxes; D - Implicit tax rates.
Annex A presents the same data organised differently: each table presents a single tax category, in % of GDP or in
% of total taxes, or an implicit tax rate, for all years and Member States for which they are available together with
arithmetic and weighted EU averages. Annex B gives information about the source of the data used for the
calculations presented in the report as well as about any country specific adjustments made during the
computations. A more detailed methodology can be found on the European Union's Europa website at the
following page: http://ec.europa.eu/taxtrends. This describes in detail the approach followed in calculating the
ratios included in Annex A and the methods employed by the Ministries of Finance and the Commission Services
to allocate the revenue of the personal income tax to labour, capital or other sources of taxable income together
with the lists of all taxes for which revenue data were submitted by the Member States and their respective
allocation to the different tax base, property and environmental tax categories.

(1)

European Commission (1996).

Taxation trends in the European Union

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