Taxation in Latin America: From Words to Policy Action | Wilson Center
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Taxation in Latin America: From Words to Policy Action

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Tax revenues in Latin America and the Caribbean showed resilience in 2015 in a context of negative growth (-0.5 percent) and a strong decline in commodity prices. A new report published jointly by the Inter-American Center of Tax Administration, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the OECD’s Development Center, demonstrates that tax revenues increased from 22.2 percent of GDP in 2014 to 22.8 percent in 2015, an increase of 0.6 percent. The report, Revenue Statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, includes detailed tax revenue data for 24 countries in the Americas.

The report finds that tax collection in the region varies, from more than 32 percent of GDP in Cuba, Argentina, and Brazil, to less than 15 percent of GDP in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Despite the regional increase, tax collection remains well below the OECD average of 34.3 percent. Policy uncertainty, the ongoing economic slowdown, and weak commodity prospects put pressures on government finances at the same time that education, infrastructure (energy and transportation), and social programs are more needed than ever.


Photo Credit: Pixabay / Public Domain






  • Alberto Barreix

    Principal Technical Leader in Fiscal Economics, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Ángel Melguizo

    Head of the Latin American and Caribbean Unit, OECD Development Centre, Paris