Revisiting personal income tax in Latin America. Evolution and impact

Produced by: 
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD)
Available from: 
March 2017
Paper author(s): 
Alberto Barreix
Juan Carlos Benítez
Miguel Pecho
Topic: 
Fiscal Policy - Public and Welfare Economics
Year: 
2017

This study documents the process through which standard tax reliefs and tax allowances reduce the taxable base of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) in Latin American countries by using the models developed in Taxing Wages in Latin America and the Caribbean 2016. The theoretical estimations on the personal income tax are complemented with data from the tax administrations. The study finds that the PIT is progressive, but only paid by a small proportion of formal high-wage earning individuals. On average, more than 80% of the PIT is paid by the richest ten per cent of the population but at average effective rates below the region’s average statutory minimum tax schedule rate. The combination of these factors results in the PIT having a scant revenue-raising capacity and a meagre impact on income redistribution.

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