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The Tax Foundation is the nation’s
leading independent tax policy
research organization. Since 1937,
our research, analysis, and experts
have informed smarter tax policy
at the federal, state, and global
levels. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
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Sources of Government Revenue in
In 2019, OECD countries raised on average one-third of their tax revenue
through consumption taxes such as the Value-added Tax (VAT), making
consumption taxes the most important revenue source.
• Social insurance taxes and individual income taxes were the second and
third most important sources of tax revenue in the OECD, at approximately
25 percent each. That’s a change from 1990, when individual income taxes
accounted for more revenue than social insurance taxes.
• On average, OECD countries collected little from the corporate income tax
(9.6 percent) and property tax (5.6 percent).
• When looking at OECD and non-OECD countries by region, Asia, Africa,
and South America rely more on consumption taxes and corporate income
taxes and less on income and social insurance taxes compared to the OECD
• On average, OECD and non-OECD countries in North America rely more on
corporate income taxes and “other taxes” than the OECD average and less on
social insurance and individual taxes.
• Oceania doesn’t rely at all on social insurance taxes, while consumption taxes
are the region’s most important revenue source.
• On average, 16.1 percent of the total tax revenue collected by the 10 federal
or fiscally decentralized OECD countries is raised at the regional or state
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Developed countries raise tax revenue through a mix of individual income taxes, corporate income