OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

Making income and property taxes more growth-friendly and redistributive in India

Tax reforms are crucial to promoting inclusive growth in India. The replacement of a myriad of consumption taxes by a Goods and Services Tax (GST) will boost India’s competitiveness, investment, job creation and tax compliance. The potential to raise additional revenue from taxes on goods and services is however limited. In contrast, reforming income and property taxes should help to i) raise more revenue to finance much needed social and physical infrastructure while keeping public debt under control; ii) reduce inequality by increasing the redistributive effect of taxation; iii) promote productivity by reducing distortions in the allocation of resources which emanate from the corporate income tax; iv) boost job creation by eliminating the bias against labour-intensive activities; v) promote confidence, and thus investment, by improving clarity and certainty regarding tax rules and their application and vi) reinforce the ability of states and municipalities to provide key public infrastructure and services. This paper presents the main characteristics of the tax system as well as the rationale and options for reform.


Keywords: base erosion and profit shifting, inheritance tax, tax administration, income tax, tax system

H71: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue;
H24: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes;
H26: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Tax Evasion and Avoidance;
H25: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT);
H20: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General