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Portugal’s taxes among the highest in OECD

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Tax increases in Portugal between 1965 and 2018 display some of the highest increases out of all the OECD countries.

In fact, the tax burden on businesses and citizens increased from 15.7% of GDP to 35.7% of GDP over a 50-year period.
This is according to fresh statistics published on Thursday, only Greece and Spain had seen higher rates of tax growth.
In Greece and Spain the tax burden increased 21.6% and 20.1% since 1965, above the 19.7% for Portugal.
According to the OECD only one country for the period saw its taxes go down. Ireland’s average tax rate in terms of percentage of GDP fell 2.2%, being now at 22.3%. The USA took the second best position for lowest increase in taxes since 1965 at 0.8%.
In the USA the tax rate is among the lowest of the 36 countries studied, at 24.3%. At the opposite extreme is France (46.1%), Denmark and Belgium (both close to 45%). Greece, the country where the tax burden has risen the most, is in 11th place in the ranking, ahead of Germany. Portugal is in 16th place.
The tax burden has been particularly controversial recently in Portugal with record levels of direct and indirect taxes over the past four years which the Government has put down to more people being in work and the growth of the economy.
But even though Portugal’s current taxes have increased since the arrival and departure of the Troika from 2011 and 2015, they are still below the European average.
Data from Eurostat show that the tax burden stood at around 40.3% in the European Union and 41.7% in the Eurozone. In 2017 the amounts stood at 40.2% and 41.5% respectively.
In light of these figures, Portugal has continued to increase its taxes and national insurance contributions. In 2018 Portugal’s tax burden stood at 37.2% of GDP and 36.5% of GDP respectively.


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