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Austria’s Tax Structure in International Comparison – A Statistical and Economic Analysis


  • Walpurga Köhler-Töglhofer

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Economic Analysis Division)

  • Lukas Reiss

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Economic Analysis Division)


For several reasons, tax levels and structures are currently at the forefront of the economic policy debate in Austria. We aim to contribute to the scientific basis of this discussion by analyzing the specifics of the tax system in Austria. The meaningfulness of the overall tax rate as an indicator is limited, given that there are numerous options for financing market-related services and given that some economic or social policy goals can be achieved on the revenue or the expenditure side of the budget or both. The problems arising from these facts make it difficult to draw a meaningful international comparison of tax structures. The taxation of labor is above average in Austria, which can be only partly attributed to high social security contributions and the associated high government benefits for employees. Revenues from taxes on property and wealth are exceedingly low in an international comparison, reflecting above all Austria’s very low real property tax and below-average revenues from taxes on financial and property transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Walpurga Köhler-Töglhofer & Lukas Reiss, 2011. "Austria’s Tax Structure in International Comparison – A Statistical and Economic Analysis," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 21-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2011:i:1:b:2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. European Commission, 2010. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2010 edition," Taxation trends 2010, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    2. European Commission, 2013. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2013 edition," Taxation trends 2013, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    3. Stefan Bach, 2009. "Vermögensbesteuerung in Deutschland: eine Ausweitung trifft nicht nur Reiche," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(30), pages 478-486.
    4. European Commission, 2009. "Taxes in Europe Database," Taxes in Europe Database 0001, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, revised Jun 2013.
    5. Åsa Johansson & Chistopher Heady & Jens Arnold & Bert Brys & Laura Vartia, 2008. "Taxation and Economic Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 620, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item


    tax structure; overall tax ratio; national accounts;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts


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