Le tasse in Europa dagli anni novanta
[Taxation in Europe since the Years 1990s]
This paper is devoted to present and to discuss the evolution of tax systems in Europe since the middle of the 1990s. EU25 as well as EU15 and NMS countries are considered. First of all, in par. 2, the quantitative trends of revenue are considered, since 1995 to 2006 (last detailed data available in Eurostat data bank). In EU15 countries no relevant changes took place, with reference to both the total level of taxation and its institutional composition by main taxes. On the contrary, in NMS countries total fiscal pressure went down, especially in the case of the personal income tax and social contributions. In EU15 countries fiscal burden continues to be charged mainly on labor incomes, while in NMS countries consumption taxes prevail. Tax systems convergence was limited in EU15 member countries and more relevant in NMS countries. In both groups of countries the more converging taxes were the corporate tax and the Vat. There is no evidence of a trend toward a greater decentralization of the power to tax. The countercyclical role played by taxation during the economic crisis was small and mainly consisted in lowering the income tax burden on lower incomes. Par. 3 discusses the main tax reforms which took place during those years. Those reforms were mainly concentrated on the most mobile bases (corporation tax and financial rents) in EU15 and on income tax in NMS, with the widespread proliferation of flat taxes. Finally, par 4 explores the most recent proposal of tax reforms, which have been suggested by the EU commission, the OECD and the “Mirrlees Review”. Some of the insights stemming from European experiences and reform proposals are then applied to the Italian case.
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