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The Austrian Tax System – Reform Perspectives


  • Angela Köppl


  • Margit Schratzenstaller



A key objective of a reform of the Austrian tax system should be the improvement of the tax structure. This includes a shift in the revenue composition away from certain tax bases towards other bases, implying their higher taxation. The latter should not only compensate revenue losses from reductions in other taxes in the short run. The guiding principle of forward-looking tax policy should rather be, starting from a long-term vision of a "tax system 2025", to re-structure in a series of steps the entire tax burden. The essence of such reform should be a reduction of the high tax burden on labour, in particular for small and medium earnings, to be offset by hikes in environmental and certain property-related taxes, within the framework of a comprehensive socio-ecological reform design, supplemented by the abolition of tax exemptions notably in income tax and VAT. Independently from the issue of the tax structure, the overall tax burden can be lowered all the more, the more savings on the expenditure side can be achieved in parallel with the reduction in labour taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Köppl & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2015. "The Austrian Tax System – Reform Perspectives," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(2), pages 127-135, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfo:monber:y:2015:i:2:p:127-135

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    2. Jens Lemmer, 2014. "Indexierung der Einkommensbesteuerung im internationalen Vergleich," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;German National Library of Economics, vol. 94(12), pages 872-878, December.
    3. Jens Arnold, 2008. "Do Tax Structures Affect Aggregate Economic Growth?: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 643, OECD Publishing.
    4. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea & Jiae Yoo, 2012. "Tax Composition and Growth; A Broad Cross-Country Perspective," IMF Working Papers 12/257, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Jens Matthias Arnold & Bert Brys & Christopher Heady & Åsa Johansson & Cyrille Schwellnus & Laura Vartia, 2011. "Tax Policy for Economic Recovery and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages 59-80, February.
    6. Brunner Johann K., 2014. "Die Erbschaftsteuer – Bestandteil eines optimalen Steuersystems?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 199-218, October.
    7. Homburg, Stefan, 2010. "Allgemeine Steuerlehre," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 92547, January.
    8. Gareth D. Myles, 2009. "Economic Growth and the Role of Taxation - Aggregate Data," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 714, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2016. "Fiscal Policy Facing Major Challenges with Tax Reform, Need for Growth-Enhancing Investment and Consolidation Targets. Federal Fiscal Framework 2016-2019 and Draft Federal Budget 2016," WIFO Bulletin, WIFO, vol. 21(2), pages 12-29, February.
    2. repec:wfo:wblltn:y:2017:i:7:p:58-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2017. "Fiscal Policy Facing Manifold Challenges. Federal Fiscal Framework 2017-2020 and Draft Federal Budget 2017," WIFO Bulletin, WIFO, vol. 22(7), pages 58-72, July.
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:154-180 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Spyros Arvanitis & Michael Peneder & Christian Rammer & Tobias Stucki & Martin Wörter, 2016. "The adoption of green energy technologies: The role of policies in an international comparison," KOF Working papers 16-411, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    6. Rammer, Christian & Gottschalk, Sandra & Peneder, Michael & Wörter, Martin & Stucki, Tobias & Arvanitis, Spyros, 2017. "Does energy policy hurt international competitiveness of firms? A comparative study for Germany, Switzerland and Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 154-180.
    7. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2015. "The Tax Reform 2015-16 – Measures and Overall Assessment," WIFO Bulletin, WIFO, vol. 20(20), pages 222-237, December.
    8. Spyros Arvanitis & Michael Peneder & Christian Rammer & Tobias Stucki & Martin Wörter, 2016. "How Different Policy Instruments Affect the Creation of Green Energy Innovation: A Differentiated Perspective," KOF Working papers 16-417, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.


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