ECONOMY

Greeks face highest tax burden in OECD

greeks-face-highest-tax-burden-in-oecd

Taxpayers in Greece shoulder a higher tax burden than their counterparts in other member-states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the OECD’s annual Revenue Statistics report.

The austerity imposed in response to the financial crisis from 2009 to 2014 saw taxation in Greece grow by 5.1 percent of gross domestic product over those five years.

From 2013 to 2014 it increased by 1.5 percent of GDP to reach up to 35.9 percent, making it the third-biggest annual growth among OECD states last year after Denmark and Iceland.

The report argues that the main trend observed among member-states is a reduction in revenues from corporate tax and a rise in takings from taxpayers. Average revenues in OECD countries from taxing corporate incomes and profits dropped from 3.6 percent to 2.8 percent from 2007 to 2014, while revenues from taxpayers climbed from 8.8 percent to 8.9 percent in the same period and value-added tax collections climbed from 6.5 percent to 6.8 percent.

“Enterprises continue to find ways to pay less, with taxpayers footing the bill in the end,” commented Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the OECD’s Center for Tax Policy and Administration. “The biggest part of the hikes in taxation after the crisis has burdened taxpayers with higher social security contributions, income tax and VAT. This underscores the urgent need to ensure that corporations pay their fair share in taxation too,” he added.