Tax policy reforms 2019 report released

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Sep 05, 2019

On September 5, 2019, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published "Tax Policy Reforms 2019: OECD and Selected Partner Economies", the latest edition of its annual report identifying major tax policy trends. The report covers the 36 OECD countries, plus Argentina, Indonesia and South Africa.

The report highlights that fewer countries have introduced comprehensive tax reform packages in 2019 compared to previous years, with the most comprehensive reforms in the Netherlands. Other significant tax changes implemented were in Lithuania (labor taxes), Australia (personal income taxes), Italy (corporate income tax) and Poland (personal and corporate income taxes).

Other key findings include:

  • Corporate tax rate cuts have continued but are less significant than those introduced in 2018. The countries introducing the most significant reductions tend to be those with higher initial tax rates, leading to further convergence in corporate tax rates across countries.
  • Efforts to fight corporate tax avoidance have progressed with the adoption of significant reforms in line with the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy continue to create concerns, with some countries adopting unilateral measures while global efforts to achieve a consensus-based multilateral solution continue. 
  • Several countries have continued to lower personal income taxes, particularly for low- and middle-income earners and the elderly. Some also have expanded tax incentives to support pension savings and small savers. 
  • Once again this year, there were very few changes to property taxes.
  • Standard VAT rates continue to stabilize across countries, as observed in the last few years.
  • The pace of environmentally-related tax reforms has slowed.

Review the press release and report on the OECD's website.

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