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OCED confirms Greece’s “tax tsunami” in 2016

Greece experienced the largest tax increase among 35 members of the member states of  the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last year. According to new figures released by the OECD, taxes in Greece went up to 38.5 percent in 2016, reaching a 30-year high.

Tax revenues in Greece, as a percentage of GDP, skyrocketed in 2016 and reached at least a 30-year high, with the rate of tax revenue hikes the highest among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member-states during the previous year.

The tax rate in Greece as a percentage of GDP is among the “top 10” for OECD member-states (10th), in league with Europe’s most advanced – and economically healthy – countries. Denmark, for instance, is in first place in terms of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP.

As far as recession-battered and debt-laden Greece is concerned, the specific index reached 38.56 percent in 2016, roughly four percentage points higher than the OECD average for the specific measurement, which not only calculates the level of tax rates, but the state’s ability to collect tax revenues.

As such, Greece’s 10th-place showing may not fully reveal the breadth of tax rates, but also hint at still inefficient tax collection, compared with other more advanced countries, both in Europe and  beyond.

The increase in the ratio between tax revenues and GDP has been impressive during the bailout era in Greece (2010-current), with the figure in 2010 at 32 percent, only reach 38.56 percent last year – which coincided with a “tax tsunami” implemented by the leftist-rightist coalition government to meet memorandum-mandated fiscal targets – especially budget surplus targets as a percentage of GDP.

In a report of September, the OECD said while the prevalent trend among the world’s industrialized nations is to reduce tax rates in order to boost investment and competitiveness, Greece has increased labor and corporate taxes, Value Added Tax as well as social contributions.

PS and the question is what a taxpayer get in return for these taxes as state services such as in health or welfare benefits decrease year by year.

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