Romanian has second-lowest tax-to-GDP ratio in the EU

Razvan Zamfir 29/11/2018 | 15:16

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, meaning the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of GDP, rose to 40.2 percent in the EU in 2017, from 39.9 percent in 2016. Romania has the second-lowest ratio in the EU of 25.8 percent of GDP, after Ireland (23.5 percent).

The tax-to-GDP ratio varies significantly between Member States, with the highest share of taxes and social contributions in percentage of GDP in 2017 being recorded in France (48.4 percent), Belgium (47.3 percent) and Denmark (46.5 percent).

At the opposite end of the scale, Ireland (23.5 percent) and Romania (25.8 percent), ahead of Bulgaria (29.5 percent), Lithuania (29.8 percent) and Latvia (31.4 percent) registered the lowest ratios.

Compared with 2016, the tax-to-GDP ratio increased in fifteen Member States in 2017, with the largest rise being observed in Cyprus (from 32.9 percent in 2016 to 34 percent in 2017), followed by Luxembourg (from 39.4 percent to 40.3 percent) and Slovakia (from 32.4 percent to 33.2 percent).

In contrast, decreases were recorded in thirteen Member States, notably in Hungary (from 39.3 percent in 2016 to 38.4 percent in 2017), Romania (from 26.5 percent to 25.8 percent) and Estonia (from 33.8 percent to 33 percent).

In 2017, taxes on production and imports made up the largest part of tax revenue in the EU (accounting for 13.6 percent of GDP), closely followed by net social contributions (13.3 prcent) and taxes on income and wealth (13.1 percent).

Looking at the main tax categories, a clear diversity prevails across the EU Member States. In 2017, the share of taxes on production and imports was highest in Sweden (where they accounted for 22.7 percent of GDP), Croatia (19.6 percent) and Hungary (18.2 percent), while they were lowest in Ireland (8.5 percent), Germany (10.7 percent) and Slovakia (11.1 percent).

For taxes related to income and wealth, the highest share by far was registered in Denmark (29.7 percent of GDP), ahead of Sweden (18.9 percent), Belgium (16.9 percent) and Finland (16.6 percent).

In contrast, Lithuania (5.4 percent), Bulgaria (5.7 percent), Romania (6.1 percent) and Croatia (6.3 percent) recorded the lowest taxes on income and wealth as a percentage of GDP.

Net social contributions accounted for a large proportion of GDP in France (18.8 percent), Germany (16.7 percent) and Belgium (16.1 percent), while the lowest shares were observed in Denmark (0.9 percent of GDP) and Sweden (3.3 percent).

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