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Effective taxation of top incomes in Germany

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  • Bach, Stefan
  • Corneo, Giacomo
  • Steiner, Viktor

Abstract

We exploit an exhaustive administrative dataset that includes the individual tax returns of all households in the top percentile of the income distribution in Germany to pin down the effective income taxation of households with very high incomes. Taking tax base erosion into account, we find that the top percentile of the income distribution pays an effective average tax rate of 30.5 percent and contributes more than a quarter of total income tax revenue. Within the top percentile, the effective average tax rate is first increasing and then decreasing with income. Since the 1990s, effective average tax rates for the German super rich have fallen by about a third, with major reductions occurring in the wake of the personal income tax reform of 2001-2005. As a result, the concentration of net incomes at the very top of the distribution has strongly increased in Germany. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011/18.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201118

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Keywords: personal income tax; taxing the rich; effective progressivity;

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  1. Stefan Bach & Giacomo Corneo & Viktor Steiner, 2009. "From Bottom To Top: The Entire Income Distribution In Germany, 1992-2003," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(2), pages 303-330, 06.
  2. Verbist, Gerlinde, 2004. "Redistributive effect and progressivity of taxes: an international comparison across the EU using EUROMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM5/04, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Frank Fossen & Stefan Bach, 2008. "Reforming the German Local Business Tax - Lessons from an International Comparison and a Microsimulation Analysis," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(2), pages 245-272, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Christina Anselmann & Hagen M. Krämer, 2012. "Completing the Bathtub?: The Development of Top Incomes in Germany, 1907-2007," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 451, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Eckerstorfer, Paul & Steiner, Viktor & Wakolbinger, Florian, 2013. "Steuerreformvorschläge in der Diskussion: Eine Mikrosimulationsanalyse der Aufkommens-, Beschäftigungs- und Verteilungswirkungen für Österreich," Discussion Papers 2013/17, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  3. Christopher Berka & Mathias Moser & Stefan Humer & Wilfried Altzinger, 2011. "Die langfristige Entwicklung der Einkommenskonzentration in Österreich 1957-2009. Teil 1: Literaturüberblick und Beschreibung der Daten," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 37(4), pages 513-530.
  4. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Ist Deutschland wirklich so progressiv? Einkommensumverteilung im europäischen Vergleich," IZA Standpunkte 53, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Paul Eckerstorfer & Viktor Stein & Florian Wakolbinger, 2013. "Steuerreformvorschläge in der Diskussion - Eine Mikrosimulationsanalyse der Aufkommens-, Beschäftigungs- und Verteilungswirkungen für Österreich," Economics working papers 2013-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

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