Recent Changes in Corporate Income Tax Rates in Europe, 2018-2021

Accounting News

Corporate income tax rates have been declining around the world for the last two decades. Today’s map shows the most recent changes in corporate tax rates in European OECD countries, comparing how combined statutory corporate income tax rates have changed between 2018 and 2021. The average tax rate of all European countries covered has declined from 22.8 percent in 2018 to 21.8 percent in 2021.

Combined statutory corporate income tax rates capture central and subcentral corporate income tax rates. Statutory tax rates do not necessarily reflect the actual tax burden of a business as they do not capture adjustments in the tax base. Effective corporate income tax rates, on the other hand, reflect both statutory tax rates and provisions impacting the tax base, such as capital allowances, inventory valuation methods, or international tax rules.

Belgium

Belgium lowered its combined statutory corporate income tax from 34 percent in 2017 to 29.6 percent in 2018. In 2020, the rate was further reduced to 25 percent. Since 2018, small and medium-sized businesses are subject to a reduced rate of 20 percent on the first €100,000 (US $118,000) in taxable profits.

France

France levies a standard top corporate income tax rate of 27.5 percent and a 3.3 percent surcharge, resulting in a combined statutory rate of 28.41 percent. In 2017, France levied a temporary one-off surtax on corporate profits of businesses with revenues exceeding €250 million (US $295 million) at a rate of 10.7 percent. This surtax was removed in 2018, reducing the top combined statutory rate from 44.4 percent in 2017 to 34.4 percent. France has further rate cuts scheduled, leading to a combined rate of 25.8 percent by 2022.

Greece

In 2019, Greece reduced its corporate rate from 29 percent to 28 percent, and then to 24 percent.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s combined corporate income tax rate has been reduced gradually from 27.1 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018, 25 percent in 2019, and 24.9 percent in 2020.

Norway

Norway reduced its corporate tax rate from 24 percent in 2017 to 23 percent in 2018 and 22 percent in 2019.

Sweden

Sweden legislated a decrease in its corporate tax rate, from 22 percent in 2018 to 21.4 percent in 2019. In 2021, Sweden further reduced the corporate tax rate to 20.6.

Switzerland

Switzerland’s combined corporate tax rate dropped from 21.1 percent to 19.7 percent in 2021. While the central government’s corporate tax rate was unchanged, at 8.5 percent, the representative sub-central government corporate income tax rate dropped from 14.4 percent to 12.9 percent.  

Turkey

In 2018, Turkey increased its statutory rate from 20 percent to 22 percent for 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2021, it increased it further to 25 percent.

Changes in Top Combined Corporate Income Tax Rates
Country 2018 Tax Rates 2019 Tax Rates 2020 Tax Rates 2021 Tax Rates
Belgium (BE) 29.6% 29.6% 25.0% 25.0%
France (FR) 34.4% 34.4% 32.0% 28.4%
Greece (GR) 29.0% 28.0% 24.0% 24.0%
Luxembourg (LU) 26.0% 25.0% 24.9% 24.9%
Norway (NO) 23.0% 22.0% 22.0% 22.0%
Sweden (SE) 22.0% 21.4% 21.4% 20.6%
Switzerland (CH) 21.1% 21.1% 21.1% 19.7%
Turkey (TR) 22.0% 22.0% 22.0% 25.0%

Source: EU, “Taxation trends in the European Union,” June 24, 2021, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/d5b94e4e-d4f1-11eb-895a-01aa75ed71a1/language-en; OECD, “Tax Policy Reforms 2021: Special Edition on Tax Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Apr. 21, 2021, https://www.oecd.org/ctp/tax-policy-reforms-26173433.htm; and OECD.Stat, “Table II.1 Statutory corporate income tax rate,” 2021, https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=CTS_CIT#.

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