Tax revenues in the majority of OECD countries increased in 2012 from levels in 2008 and 2009 when the economic crisis was in full swing, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures. "Tax revenues continue bouncing back from the low levels reported in almost all countries at the height of the global economic crisis during 2008 and 2009," according to new OECD data in the annual Revenue Statistics report. The tax revenue to GDP ratio - a figure indicating state tax revenues as percentage of gross domestic product - in OECD countries rose by an average of 0.5 percentage points to 34.6% in 2012, compared with 34.1% in 2011 and 33.8% in 2010. The ratio of tax revenues to GDP rose in 21 of the 30 member countries for which 2012 data is available, and fell in only 9 countries. The largest increases in 2012 occurred in Hungary by 1.8 percentage points, Greece by 1.6 points whereas Italy and New Zealand followed with 1.4 points. The largest falls were in Israel by 1 percentage point, and by 0.5 point each in Portugal and the United Kingdom. The increase in the United States -- with the biggest GDP in the world -- from 24.0% of GDP in 2011 to 24.3% in 2012 was lower than the average seen in the OECD area.
The average rises in OECD in 2010 and 2011 were 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively, reversing the decline from 35% to 33.6% between 2007 and 2009. Figures were below the most recent peak year of 2007 when tax revenues to GDP ratios averaged 35%.
The figures indicated in the OECD data for the ratio of tax revenues to GDP indicated a general tendency in OECD countries to cover budget deficiencies by trying to increase tax revenues after the credit crunch in 2009.
- Slight drop in Turkey
In Turkey, overall tax revenues to GDP ratio slightly decreased.
The country's tax-to-GDP ratio was down by 0.1 percentage points to 27.8% in 2012 from 27.7% in 2011, well below the OECD average of 34.6%. However, the country's tax burden -- the amount of tax levied on an individual or business -- increased from 24.1% to 27.7% between 2007 and 2012.
Turkey's tax burden figures between 2000 and 2010 floated around 24.2% and 26.2%. The country ranked 29 among the 34 member countries whereas Denmark ranked first, having the heaviest burden, and Mexico last, having the lightest burden.
Turkey's government debt to GDP ratio -- indicating the country's ability to pay back its debt -- was 36.38% in 2012, well below that of the developed countries such as Japan with a ratio of 237.91%, US with 106.52% and Germany with 81.96%, according to the IMF's April 2013 World Economic Outlook Database.
Turkey's general economic outlook during the credit crunch was solid and the GDP kept growing over the last decade compared to the EU, US and Japan. The sound regulations stabilised the country's financial markets which collapsed in 2001 well before the global crisis hit the country.
In Greece, public debt has doubled from 115.2% of the GDP in 2007 to a projected 200% in 2014, which was the main reason for economic crisis in the country. Public debt in Portugal, which was 75% of the GDP in 2007, will reach an estimated ratio of 134.6% in 2014. The ratio in Spain will increase from 42% to an estimated 105% next year.
Turkey, having one of the lowest levels of debt-to-GDP ratio among EU countries, forecasts that its economy will grow over 5 percent in 2013 while the OECD's growth estimate for the country in 2013 is above 3 percent.