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EU Tax Resource Center

Leading EU Tax Policy Research & Analysis

Economic growth is essential to the European Union’s promise of peace and prosperity. A foundational aspect of growth is principled tax policy that is simple, neutral, stable, and transparent. When EU tax policy is designed on sound principles, governments can raise sufficient revenue, support the economy, and chart a path toward an effective tax system.

Given that tax policy is a Member State competence with EU-level influences, the Tax Foundation’s EU tax policy team has developed a multiannual research agenda to study the economic effects of tax policies in Brussels and national capitals. Our EU tax team produces data-driven reports, blogs, and policy recommendations to educate policymakers, members of the media, and the public.

With aging demographics, the digitalization of work, increased labor mobility, and an unsustainable tax mix applying pressure on public expenditures and economic growth in Europe, the EU and Member States would be prudent to consider broad-based, growth-oriented tax policies to encourage investment, stimulate job creation, and provide stable resources for government spending. You can learn more about the Tax Foundation’s EU tax policy research and analysis by exploring the various policy briefs, blogs, and reports below.

Pursuing Delors’ Single Market: What the EU Gets Wrong About Its Economic Power and What It Means for the U.S.

January 19, 2023

Before EU policymakers rush to implement massive reforms, they should remember the goals of the Single Market, its international limitations, and the role of tax policy.

Actionable VAT Policy Gap in Europe

January 17, 2023

Value-added taxes (VAT) make up approximately one-fifth of total tax revenues in Europe. However, European countries differ significantly in how efficiently they raise VAT revenues. One way to measure a country’s VAT efficiency is the VAT Gap.

In the Shadow of T-TIP: Why Congress Should Care About EU Tax and Trade Issues in 2023

January 12, 2023

The EU’s unilateral approach with carbon taxes, faster track on the global minimum tax, and threat of renewed efforts on DSTs means that U.S. policymakers face some hard choices. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic should keep in mind pro-growth tax and trade principles that promote a rules-based international order and increase opportunity.

VAT Expansion and Labor Tax Cuts

January 10, 2023

Since VAT revenues are such a significant and stable contributor to overall government revenues, EU policymakers should pay particular attention to how efficiently those revenues are raised.

What the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism Means for Europe and the United States

December 20, 2022

The growing number of competing climate policies between the EU and U.S., such as tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, could present policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic with the opportunity to work together against economic rivals such as China and Russia.

The Future of Tobacco Taxation in Europe

December 5, 2022

Later this week, the European Union is expected to release a new Tobacco Tax Directive, the first update in more than a decade. Early reports indicate that the EU will propose a significant increase to the existing minimum cigarette tax rates levied across the Union and expand the product categories that are taxed, including a block-wide vaping tax.

How the Inflation Reduction Act and Pillar Two Could Shape the Future of EU Competitiveness

November 30, 2022

French President Macron is coming to Washington, D.C., this week to ask President Biden the question on the minds of European leaders: “Why did you do this to us?”

EU “Fiscal Fairness”

November 28, 2022

Europe is facing difficult times. Governments are balancing the need for more resources with the need to maintain peace and prosperity domestically. To properly strike this balance, EU policymakers must incorporate “Fiscal Fairness” into the debate.

How the Inflation Reduction Act Affects the Future of U.S.-EU Tax and Trade Cooperation

November 9, 2022

the Inflation Reduction Act gives us a glimpse into a future where the U.S. and EU opt for protectionist tax and trade policies rather than implementing principled tax policies and reducing trade barriers between allies.

What the EU Gets Wrong About “Tax Fairness” and How Principled Tax Policy Can Help

October 13, 2022

A more principled EU tax system will increase economic growth across the economy and provide the government with stable finances for spending priorities.

The EU’s Windfall Profits Tax: How “Tax Fairness” Got in the Way of Energy Security

October 4, 2022

When it comes to providing economic relief to those in need, wartime energy security, and principled tax policy, the EU can do all three. But a windfall profits tax is not the policy to achieve these goals.

What European Countries Are Doing about Windfall Profit Taxes

October 4, 2022

It’s unlikely these implemented and proposed windfall taxes will achieve their goals of addressing high gas and energy prices and raising additional revenues. They would more likely raise prices, penalize domestic production, and punitively target certain industries without a sound tax base.

Impact of Italian Elections on National Tax Policy and EU Fiscal Policy

September 28, 2022

In the EU, Italy plays an important role in economic policy. If the EU wants to further develop own resources, it will need the backing of the Italian government—which seems unlikely at the moment.

Beer Taxes in Europe

July 26, 2022

’Tis the season to crack open a cold one. Ahead of International Beer Day on August 5th, let's take a minute to discover how much of your cash is actually going toward the cost of a brew with this week's tax map, which explores excise duties on beer.

Three Questions on Pillar One

July 25, 2022

While the global minimum tax gets much attention in the media, there is another significant piece to the deal.

Gas Taxes in Europe

July 12, 2022

The Netherlands has the highest gas tax in the European Union, at €0.82 per liter ($3.69 per gallon). Italy applies the second highest rate at €0.73 per liter ($3.26 per gallon), followed by Finland at €0.72 per liter ($3.24 per gallon).

Tax Files Under New Council of EU Presidency: Czechia

July 11, 2022

As the Czech EU presidency considers a plan to manage various tax-related files, it would be wise to consider principled tax policy that broadens the tax base and reduces the tax wedge on strategic investment.

Carbon Taxes in the Global Market: Changes on the Way?

June 27, 2022

As policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic debate the way forward on carbon border adjustment mechanisms, it is important to keep principles of good tax policy in mind.

Carbon Taxes in Europe

June 14, 2022

In recent years, several countries have taken measures to reduce carbon emissions, including instituting environmental regulations, emissions trading systems, and carbon taxes. In 1990, Finland was the world’s first country to introduce a carbon tax.

Cigarette Taxes in Europe

May 31, 2022

Ireland and France levy the highest excise duties on cigarettes in the EU, at €8.85 ($10.47) and €6.88 ($8.13) per 20-cigarette pack, respectively.

Time for an Updated Impact Assessment of the Global Tax Deal

May 19, 2022

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen offered estimates from the EU Tax Observatory as evidence that the Polish government would benefit from supporting the global tax deal. Unfortunately, evidence was, at best, out of date.

Europe Opened the Pandora Box of Reduced VAT Rates

May 17, 2022

With this new VAT directive, the EU has invited member states to adopt policies that create new complexities, are poorly targeted, and undermine an Own Resource.

Estate, Inheritance, and Gift Taxes in Europe

May 17, 2022

Benefits of Principled Tax Policy: EU VAT Reform Results

April 19, 2022

The EU’s recent VAT reform is an example of a win for governments, consumers, and companies. Charting a new path toward a more successful tax system.

Impact of Elections on French Tax Policy and EU Own Resources

June 23, 2022

The French election results are paralyzing for French pro-growth tax reforms, pessimistic for EU own resources, and dire for overall economic certainty.

Analyzing Recent Tax Trends Among EU Countries

March 28, 2022

In recent years, EU countries have undertaken a series of tax reforms designed to maintain tax revenue levels while supporting investment and economic growth. However, not all tax reforms were created equal.

Russia’s Ukrainian War Could Impact EU Carbon Proposal Too

March 18, 2022

Given the uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine, future trade relations with Russia, and the overall CBAM revenue structure. The EU will need to adjust policy when challenges arise as it looks to increase its role in fiscal affairs through new own resources.

Post-Versailles Declaration: Tax Policy in the Future of European Energy Security

March 15, 2022

The unified EU signing of the “Versailles Declaration” is a historic break from the past. Russia’s war against Ukraine has made energy (and related tax policies) an even more urgent focus for the EU.

Capital Gains Tax Rates in Europe

March 8, 2022

In many countries, investment income, such as dividends and capital gains, is taxed at a different rate than wage income. Denmark levies the highest top capital gains tax among European OECD countries, followed by Norway, Finland, and France.

Corporate Income Tax Rates in Europe

February 22, 2022

Portugal, Germany and France have the highest corporate tax rates in Europe. How does your country compare?

2022 VAT Rates in Europe

January 25, 2022

The VAT is a consumption tax assessed on the value added in each production stage of a good or service. Every business along the value chain receives a tax credit for the VAT already paid. The end consumer does not, making it a tax on final consumption.

Testimony: EU Parliament Subcommittee on Tax Matters Hearing on the Impact of National Tax Reforms on the EU Economy

October 11, 2021

Tax Foundation testimony on the diversity of tax systems within the EU, three important ways to consider reforms by Member States, and several recommendations for the EU Parliament's Subcommittee on Tax Matters to consider.

The Latest on the Global Tax Agreement: The EU Adopts Pillar Two

December 15, 2022

The agreement represents a major change for tax competition, and many countries will be rethinking their tax policies for multinationals in light of it. However, with both the U.S. and EU hitting roadblocks in their respective legislative processes, it is unclear when or even if the agreement will be implemented. If implementation fails, a return to a world of distortive European digital services taxes and retaliatory American tariffs could be on the horizon.

The EU Determined to Reform the Business Tax

March 19, 2021

The EU recently launched a consultation to reform the business tax system, which will outline the priorities for corporate taxation over the coming years to meet the needs of a globalized economy that struggles to recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. It will also set EU actions regarding the ongoing international discussion on the taxation of the digital economy and a global minimum tax.

Pursuing Delors’ Single Market: What the EU Gets Wrong About Its Economic Power and What It Means for the U.S.

January 19, 2023

Before EU policymakers rush to implement massive reforms, they should remember the goals of the Single Market, its international limitations, and the role of tax policy.

Actionable VAT Policy Gap in Europe

January 17, 2023

Value-added taxes (VAT) make up approximately one-fifth of total tax revenues in Europe. However, European countries differ significantly in how efficiently they raise VAT revenues. One way to measure a country’s VAT efficiency is the VAT Gap.

In the Shadow of T-TIP: Why Congress Should Care About EU Tax and Trade Issues in 2023

January 12, 2023

The EU’s unilateral approach with carbon taxes, faster track on the global minimum tax, and threat of renewed efforts on DSTs means that U.S. policymakers face some hard choices. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic should keep in mind pro-growth tax and trade principles that promote a rules-based international order and increase opportunity.

VAT Expansion and Labor Tax Cuts

January 10, 2023

Since VAT revenues are such a significant and stable contributor to overall government revenues, EU policymakers should pay particular attention to how efficiently those revenues are raised.

What the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism Means for Europe and the United States

December 20, 2022

The growing number of competing climate policies between the EU and U.S., such as tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, could present policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic with the opportunity to work together against economic rivals such as China and Russia.

The Future of Tobacco Taxation in Europe

December 5, 2022

Later this week, the European Union is expected to release a new Tobacco Tax Directive, the first update in more than a decade. Early reports indicate that the EU will propose a significant increase to the existing minimum cigarette tax rates levied across the Union and expand the product categories that are taxed, including a block-wide vaping tax.

How the Inflation Reduction Act and Pillar Two Could Shape the Future of EU Competitiveness

November 30, 2022

French President Macron is coming to Washington, D.C., this week to ask President Biden the question on the minds of European leaders: “Why did you do this to us?”

EU “Fiscal Fairness”

November 28, 2022

Europe is facing difficult times. Governments are balancing the need for more resources with the need to maintain peace and prosperity domestically. To properly strike this balance, EU policymakers must incorporate “Fiscal Fairness” into the debate.

How the Inflation Reduction Act Affects the Future of U.S.-EU Tax and Trade Cooperation

November 9, 2022

the Inflation Reduction Act gives us a glimpse into a future where the U.S. and EU opt for protectionist tax and trade policies rather than implementing principled tax policies and reducing trade barriers between allies.

What the EU Gets Wrong About “Tax Fairness” and How Principled Tax Policy Can Help

October 13, 2022

A more principled EU tax system will increase economic growth across the economy and provide the government with stable finances for spending priorities.

The EU’s Windfall Profits Tax: How “Tax Fairness” Got in the Way of Energy Security

October 4, 2022

When it comes to providing economic relief to those in need, wartime energy security, and principled tax policy, the EU can do all three. But a windfall profits tax is not the policy to achieve these goals.

What European Countries Are Doing about Windfall Profit Taxes

October 4, 2022

It’s unlikely these implemented and proposed windfall taxes will achieve their goals of addressing high gas and energy prices and raising additional revenues. They would more likely raise prices, penalize domestic production, and punitively target certain industries without a sound tax base.

Impact of Italian Elections on National Tax Policy and EU Fiscal Policy

September 28, 2022

In the EU, Italy plays an important role in economic policy. If the EU wants to further develop own resources, it will need the backing of the Italian government—which seems unlikely at the moment.

Beer Taxes in Europe

July 26, 2022

’Tis the season to crack open a cold one. Ahead of International Beer Day on August 5th, let's take a minute to discover how much of your cash is actually going toward the cost of a brew with this week's tax map, which explores excise duties on beer.

Three Questions on Pillar One

July 25, 2022

While the global minimum tax gets much attention in the media, there is another significant piece to the deal.

Gas Taxes in Europe

July 12, 2022

The Netherlands has the highest gas tax in the European Union, at €0.82 per liter ($3.69 per gallon). Italy applies the second highest rate at €0.73 per liter ($3.26 per gallon), followed by Finland at €0.72 per liter ($3.24 per gallon).

Tax Files Under New Council of EU Presidency: Czechia

July 11, 2022

As the Czech EU presidency considers a plan to manage various tax-related files, it would be wise to consider principled tax policy that broadens the tax base and reduces the tax wedge on strategic investment.

Carbon Taxes in the Global Market: Changes on the Way?

June 27, 2022

As policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic debate the way forward on carbon border adjustment mechanisms, it is important to keep principles of good tax policy in mind.

Carbon Taxes in Europe

June 14, 2022

In recent years, several countries have taken measures to reduce carbon emissions, including instituting environmental regulations, emissions trading systems, and carbon taxes. In 1990, Finland was the world’s first country to introduce a carbon tax.

Cigarette Taxes in Europe

May 31, 2022

Ireland and France levy the highest excise duties on cigarettes in the EU, at €8.85 ($10.47) and €6.88 ($8.13) per 20-cigarette pack, respectively.

Time for an Updated Impact Assessment of the Global Tax Deal

May 19, 2022

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen offered estimates from the EU Tax Observatory as evidence that the Polish government would benefit from supporting the global tax deal. Unfortunately, evidence was, at best, out of date.

Europe Opened the Pandora Box of Reduced VAT Rates

May 17, 2022

With this new VAT directive, the EU has invited member states to adopt policies that create new complexities, are poorly targeted, and undermine an Own Resource.

Estate, Inheritance, and Gift Taxes in Europe

May 17, 2022

Benefits of Principled Tax Policy: EU VAT Reform Results

April 19, 2022

The EU’s recent VAT reform is an example of a win for governments, consumers, and companies. Charting a new path toward a more successful tax system.

Impact of Elections on French Tax Policy and EU Own Resources

June 23, 2022

The French election results are paralyzing for French pro-growth tax reforms, pessimistic for EU own resources, and dire for overall economic certainty.

Analyzing Recent Tax Trends Among EU Countries

March 28, 2022

In recent years, EU countries have undertaken a series of tax reforms designed to maintain tax revenue levels while supporting investment and economic growth. However, not all tax reforms were created equal.

Russia’s Ukrainian War Could Impact EU Carbon Proposal Too

March 18, 2022

Given the uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine, future trade relations with Russia, and the overall CBAM revenue structure. The EU will need to adjust policy when challenges arise as it looks to increase its role in fiscal affairs through new own resources.

Post-Versailles Declaration: Tax Policy in the Future of European Energy Security

March 15, 2022

The unified EU signing of the “Versailles Declaration” is a historic break from the past. Russia’s war against Ukraine has made energy (and related tax policies) an even more urgent focus for the EU.

Capital Gains Tax Rates in Europe

March 8, 2022

In many countries, investment income, such as dividends and capital gains, is taxed at a different rate than wage income. Denmark levies the highest top capital gains tax among European OECD countries, followed by Norway, Finland, and France.

Corporate Income Tax Rates in Europe

February 22, 2022

Portugal, Germany and France have the highest corporate tax rates in Europe. How does your country compare?

2022 VAT Rates in Europe

January 25, 2022

The VAT is a consumption tax assessed on the value added in each production stage of a good or service. Every business along the value chain receives a tax credit for the VAT already paid. The end consumer does not, making it a tax on final consumption.

Testimony: EU Parliament Subcommittee on Tax Matters Hearing on the Impact of National Tax Reforms on the EU Economy

October 11, 2021

Tax Foundation testimony on the diversity of tax systems within the EU, three important ways to consider reforms by Member States, and several recommendations for the EU Parliament's Subcommittee on Tax Matters to consider.

The Latest on the Global Tax Agreement: The EU Adopts Pillar Two

December 15, 2022

The agreement represents a major change for tax competition, and many countries will be rethinking their tax policies for multinationals in light of it. However, with both the U.S. and EU hitting roadblocks in their respective legislative processes, it is unclear when or even if the agreement will be implemented. If implementation fails, a return to a world of distortive European digital services taxes and retaliatory American tariffs could be on the horizon.

The EU Determined to Reform the Business Tax

March 19, 2021

The EU recently launched a consultation to reform the business tax system, which will outline the priorities for corporate taxation over the coming years to meet the needs of a globalized economy that struggles to recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. It will also set EU actions regarding the ongoing international discussion on the taxation of the digital economy and a global minimum tax.