By Altus Group | December 6, 2019

Total tax revenues across the UK surpassed £700 billion for the first time during 2018/19 with the UK regaining the unenviable accolade of having the highest level of property taxes across the developed world according to the annual OECD Revenue Statistics.

Total overall tax revenues for 2018/19 rose to £710.33 billion, up £28.48 billion on the previous financial year, with total tax revenues now 38% higher, up £196.20 billion a year, since 2010.

The UK ranked 20th out of all 36 countries who are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in terms of the tax-to-GDP ratio with a ratio of 33.5% during 2018/19 compared with the OECD average of 34.3%.

Britain’s reliance upon property for tax revenues showed no sign of abating with over 12%, around £1 in every £8 raised in taxes, coming from property according to detailed analysis by Altus Group.

Tax revenues from property in the UK have risen by £25.85 billion a year since 2010 to £87.62 billion during 2018/19, £2.07 billion more than the previous financial year according to the Altus Group analysis with the UK regaining top spot from the US as the country with the highest level of property taxes as a percentage of overall taxation.

In the UK, property taxes include all tax receipts from council tax, business rates, SDLT (stamp duty land tax) and LBTT (land and building transaction tax) in Scotland.

Property taxes in the UK, as a percentage of overall taxation, were 12.33% for 2018/19, more than double both the OECD and European Union averages of 5.48% and 4.49% respectively.

Only the United States, Canada, Korea and Israel had property tax revenues that amounted to more than 10% of overall tax revenues.

Robert Hayton, Head of business rates at Altus Group, said that the UK was heavily reliant upon property for tax revenues and this could become a deterrent to investment saying:

“Boris Johnson’s commitment to lower the business rates burden, as part of a wider review, is an important acknowledgment that the standard rate of tax, at its highest level since 1990, at over 50%, is a major issue for business across all sectors of the economy. However, the budgeted rates cut of £10 million from April 2021, whilst a start, will need to go much further and deeper to have a meaningful impact.”



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