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  1. Do I need to register in order to access the database?
  2. What are "minor taxes"?
  3. What is the composition of the "EU harmonised excise duties"?
  4. Which is the criterion to decide whether a tax is direct or indirect?
  5. What is the "ESA 95" code?
  6. What is the definition of total tax revenue utilised in the database?
  7. How should one interpret the "region of application"?
  8. How should one interpret the "economic function"?
  9. What is meant by "environmental taxes"?
1. Do I need to register in order to access the database?
No, simply open the search engine and you can work in it.
2. What are "minor taxes"?
"Minor" refers only to the revenues of the respective tax e.g. taxes which create revenues below 0.1 % of GDP.
3. What is the composition of the "EU harmonised excise duties"?
The "EU harmonised excise duties" are the commonly applied excise duties for which the legislation on EU level was mainly adopted in the context of the establishment of the Internal Market on 1 January 1993. They are applied in all Member States on three product groups:
- alcoholic beverages
- manufactured tobacco products
- energy products (motor fuels and heating fuels, such as petrol and gasoline, electricity, natural gas, coal and coke).
4. Which is the criterion to decide whether a tax is direct or indirect?
The criterion utilised here is that followed by Eurostat, whereby the allocation is dictated by the ESA95 code (see table). If a tax is booked under multiple ESA95 codes, the approach followed here has been to give preference to the code under which the highest amount of revenue is raised.

ESA 95 code

Type of tax

TRD211+ TRD214A + TRD2122C + TRD21
TRD21 + TRD211 + TRD29

Indirect Tax

TRD51 + TRD59 + TRD91

Direct Tax

5. What is the "ESA 95" code?
The European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 95) is a harmonised methodology which provides a consistent, reliable and comparable quantitative description of the economies of the Member States. The indication of the statistical code enables the user of the database to connect the juridical information with statistical information.
More on the ESA 95.
For more specific information on the methodology used in "Taxes in Europe" Database:
see Annex C of the publication "Taxation Trends in the European Union"
6. What is the definition of total tax revenue utilised in the database?
The definition of total tax revenue used in the "Taxes in Europe" database is a wide one including social security contributions; however, voluntary and imputed social contributions as well as the amounts assessed but unlikely to be collected are excluded. In terms of the ESA95 codes, this is equivalent to: TTR= (D2+D5+d91+d611_m_d995) - d61112 - d61122 - d61132.
7. How should one interpret the "region of application"?
For most taxes the "region of application" is the jurisdiction of the Member State. In case the field is empty one can assume that the jurisdiction of the Member State is the "region of application". However, there are some taxes which apply only in some regions or differ among the regions of federal states, as mentioned in the field "Region of application".
8. How should one interpret the "economic function"?
  • Taxes on consumption are defined as taxes levied on transactions between final consumers and producers and on the final consumption goods;
  • Taxes on employed labour comprise all taxes, directly linked to wages and mostly withheld at source, paid by employers and employees, including compulsory social contributions;
  • The category labour - non-employed comprises all taxes and compulsory social contributions raised on transfer income of non-employed persons, where these could be identified;
  • Capital is defined broadly, including physical capital, intangibles and financial investment and savings. Capital taxes include taxes on business income in a broad sense: not only taxes on profits but also taxes and levies that could be regarded as a prerequisite for earning profit, such as the real estate tax or the motor vehicle tax paid by enterprises;
  • 'Taxes on capital stock' include the wealth tax, capital taxes (including the inheritance tax, the real estate tax or taxes on the use of fixed assets, professional and business licences, and some taxes on products (from the ESA category d214).
For further information see Annex C of the publication
"Taxation Trends in the European Union"
9. What is meant by "environmental taxes"?
Environmental taxes include energy taxes, transport taxes (including registration and circulation car taxes), and pollution taxes. This is a sub-category of indirect taxes or consumption taxes. If this section is left blank in the form, it means that the tax is not considered to be an environmental tax.
  • Energy taxes include taxes on energy products used for both transport and stationary purposes. The most important energy products for transport purposes are petrol and diesel. Energy products for stationary use include fuel oils, natural gas, coal and electricity. The CO2 taxes are included under energy taxes rather than under pollution taxes.
  • Transport taxes mainly include taxes related to the ownership and use of motor vehicles. Taxes on other transport equipment (e.g. planes), and related transport services (e.g. duties on charter or schedule flights) are also included here, when they conform to the general definition of environmental taxes. The transport taxes may be 'one-off' taxes related to imports or sales of the equipment or recurrent taxes such as an annual road tax;
  • The last group of pollution/resource taxes includes taxes on measured or estimated emissions to air and water, management of solid waste and noise. An exception is the CO2-taxes, which, as discussed above, are included under energy taxes. For further information: Taxation Trends in the European Union: Annex C".