The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Taxes affect the degree and efficiency of financial intermediation in many different ways. This paper summarizes the main tax provisions in OECD countries that affect the overall “tax wedge” between pre-tax returns on investments, and the post-tax yield on the savings that finance them. This tax wedge is shown to vary widely, in individual countries, according to the different ways in which savings are channeled through financial markets. The paper then discusses alternative criteria for assessing tax regimes for financial assets, and summarizes recent trends in OECD countries.