Taxation of European Farmers
summary The special treatments that farmers and landowners receive in national systems of taxation and social security are a little-studied way in which governments are involved with agriculture and provide it with support. As policy instruments they can be an alternative to programmes that involve government expenditure. A recent OECD inventory covering taxes on income, property (annual, transfers and capital gains) and inputs (such as duty on fuel) has found that special treatments of agriculture are widespread in Europe, mostly in the form of concessions relative to the arrangements applied to other industries and occupations. They represent an accumulation of responses to particular problems, many of which have receded into history. But once in place special treatments are often difficult to remove. Agricultural concessions influence the pattern of production in the short-term and the structure of the industry and its output in the longer term. The present inventory reveals inconsistency and contains conflicts with other policy aims. The lack of transparency and difficulty of establishing clearly what is a preferential treatment, together with important information gaps, suggests that further study and evaluation of tax concessions is required. Nevertheless, special treatment of agriculture is too important to be ignored. Copyright The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2007.
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Volume (Year): 6 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (04)
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