Greece an OECD exception, being its only member-state to raise corporate tax


TAGS: Taxation, Economy

The only member-state of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to raise its corporate tax last year was Greece, while the general trend around the world has been for taxation to promote growth.

An OECD report on tax policy reached the conclusion that in the period from 2010 to 2014, the majority of the 34 countries monitored raised taxation, especially tax revenues as a proportion of gross domestic product. However, since last year the OECD member-states have shifted their policy and are now adjusting taxes to strengthen their growth prospects.

Bucking that trend, according to the organization, Greece was the sole member-state to raise the taxes that corporations have to pay, with obvious consequences for the businesspeople and the investment prospects that should be powering the economy out of its recession.

The report adds that reforms in the countries monitored focused on reducing taxation on labor and corporations, while seeing a small increase in revenues from consumption and environmental taxes. In that context, “Greece was the only country that raised the tax rate on corporations from 26 percent to 29 percent in 2015,” the OECD stressed. This contrasts with the countries that decreased their corporate tax last year, including Austria, Canada, Estonia, France, Israel, the United States and Turkey. This list even includes countries that were under bailout support or facing serious financial trouble, such as Ireland, Spain and Italy.

At the same time Greece was among the member-states that last year also raised their value-added tax rates, as well as special consumption taxes. Such measures hamper consumption, which constitutes a basic pillar of GDP.

In the period from 2010 to 2014 Greece ranked third among the countries that raised their tax revenues most as a ratio to their GDP, adding some 4 percent. It was only Denmark and Israel that posted a greater increase during the same period.