In the course of the current political debate, the opposition parties of the German parliament have presented several tax reform proposals which aim at reviving net wealth taxation in Germany. These proposals mainly aim at raising additional tax revenue in order to reduce government debt and at redistributing wealth. Furthermore, it is often argued that a comparison across the OECD countries shows that the contribution of wealth taxes to the overall tax revenue is comparably low in Germany. Against this background, this project has the following objectives: First, a comparative analysis of the development of inheritance taxes and wealth taxes in the EU countries as well as in Switzerland, the USA and Japan for the years 1990 to 2012 is targeted at assessing the importance of wealth taxes in an international context. Apart from this, the contribution of wealth taxes to the overall tax revenue is discussed. Furthermore, the effects of the reform proposals on the effective tax burden of partnerships and corporations are analysed and an international tax burden comparison is carried out in order to highlight how the implementation of the tax reform proposals would change Germany’s position in the ranking of the EU Member States. Moreover, by drawing on calculations of the cost of capital, investment incentives of reviving net wealth tax in Germany are analysed with respect to equity-financed investments as well as cross-border investments. Finally, a literature review is conducted in order to gain insights into the tax revenue and redistribution effects, as well as the compliance and administration costs of levying wealth taxes.
15.11.2012 - 31.05.2013