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Further increase in VAT rates in 2012

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The average standard VAT rate in the EU27 has risen strongly since 2008. In 2012, the standard VAT rate varies from 15.0% in Luxembourg and 17.0% in Cyprus to 27.0% in Hungary and 25.0% in Denmark and Sweden.

The average top personal income tax rate in the EU27 has increased in 2012. The highest top rates on 2012 personal income are observed in Sweden (56.6%), Denmark (55.4%), Belgium (53.7%), the Netherlands and Spain (both 52.0%), Austria and the United Kingdom (both 50.0%), and the lowest in Bulgaria (10.0%), the Czech Republic and Lithuania (both 15.0%), Romania (16.0%) and Slovakia (19.0%).

Corporate tax rates in the EU27 have risen slightly in 2012, ending a long declining trend. The highest statutory tax rates on 2012 corporate income are recorded in France (36.1%), Malta (35.0%) and Belgium (34.0%), and the lowest in Bulgaria and Cyprus (both 10.0%) and Ireland (12.5%).

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio in the EU27 stood at 38.4% in 2010, unchanged from the year before. After the marked drop in 2009, consolidation measures and a modest recovery of the economy led to a stabilisation of tax revenues in 2010. The overall tax ratio in the euro area (EA17) fell slightly to 38.9% in 2010, compared with 39.0% in 2009.

This information comes from the 2012 edition of the publication Taxation trends in the European Union issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union and the Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union. This publication compiles tax indicators in a harmonised framework based on the European System of Accounts (ESA 95), allowing accurate comparison of the tax systems and tax policies between EU Member States.

The tax regime of property is attracting growing attention from policymakers. For this reason, this year's edition of the report for the first time includes an overview of property tax revenue in general with a special focus on recurrent taxes on immovable properties for the entire EU.

Tax revenue in 2010 ranged from 27.1% of GDP in Lithuania to 47.6% in Denmark

In comparison with the rest of the world, the EU27 tax ratio remains generally high. However, the tax burden varies significantly between Member States, ranging in 2010 from less than 30% in Lithuania (27.1%), Romania (27.2%), Latvia (27.3%), Bulgaria (27.4%), Slovakia (28.1%) and Ireland (28.2%), to more than 45% in Denmark (47.6%) and Sweden (45.8%).

Between 2009 and 2010, the largest falls in tax-to-GDP ratios were recorded in Hungary (from 40.1% to 37.7%), Lithuania (from 29.2% to 27.1%), Bulgaria (from 29.0% to 27.4%) and Estonia (from 35.7% to 34.2%), and the highest increases in Spain (from 30.7% to 31.9%), the United Kingdom (from 34.8% to 35.6%) and Latvia (from 26.7% to 27.3%).

Highest implicit tax rates on labour in Italy, on consumption in Denmark

The largest source of tax revenue in the EU27 is labour taxes, representing nearly half of total tax receipts, followed by consumption taxes at roughly one third and taxes on capital at just under one fifth. The average implicit tax rate on labour was slightly up in the EU27 in 2010 compared with 2009, ending the steady decline observed from 2000. Among the Member States, the implicit tax rate on labour ranged in 2010 from 21.7% in Malta, 23.4% in Portugal, 24.4% in Bulgaria and 25.7% in the United Kingdom, to 42.6% in Italy, 42.5% in Belgium, 41.0% in France and 40.5% in Austria.

The average implicit tax rate on consumption in the EU27, which had been on a downward trend since 2007, increased in 2010. In 2010, implicit tax rates on consumption were lowest in Spain (14.6%), Greece (15.8%), Italy (16.8%), Latvia (17.3%) and Portugal (17.4%), and highest in Denmark (31.5%), Sweden (28.1%), Luxembourg (27.3%), Hungary (27.2%) and the Netherlands (27.0%).

In the EU27, the average implicit tax rate on capital for the Member States for which data are available was down in 2010 compared with 2009. Implicit tax rates on capital ranged from 6.8% in Lithuania to 37.2% in France.

Revenue from property taxes highest in United Kingdom, France and Belgium

Amongst the Member States, revenue from property taxes varied widely in 2010, ranging from 0.4% of GDP in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovakia to 4.2% in the United Kingdom, 3.4% in France and 3.1% in Belgium. The highest revenues from recurrent taxes as a proportion of GDP were recorded in the United Kingdom (3.4%), France (2.3%) and Denmark (1.4%), and from transaction taxes in Belgium (1.8%), Italy (1.3%) and Spain (1.2%).

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