Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Die Steuerlastverteilung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Eine empirische Analyse für die Jahre 1969 und 1973
Credit and Capital Markets – Kredit und Kapital, Vol. 13 (1980), Iss. 1 : pp. 101–125
1. Empirical tax burden analyses are faced with the difficulty that the findings of theoretical impact models cannot be transposed without further ado and up to the present there is a hiatus between theory and empiricism. Consequently, empirical studies have to resort to necessary simplifications. These simplifications relate to tax-shift hypotheses, imputation indicators, and the actual goal of tax burden analysis, i. e., the determination of personal distribution impacts in as differentiated a form as possible. 2. In order nevertheless to obtain the most significant possible result, it is advisable to calculate the possible extreme forms: „no tax shifting“ and „total tax shifting“ for all types of tax, in order to arrive at distribution bands within which the actual result must lie. If it is desired to apportion the tax burden to private households on the basis of more than just one attribute (e. g. income brackets), a combination of income and social position is expedient, by which the significance spectrum can be extended substantially. 3. The distribution bands for 1973 show that the German tax system cannot be described as either progressive (upper income brackets bear relatively more taxes than the lower ones) or regressive (upper income brackets bear relatively less taxes than the lower ones). As far as the level of the burden is concerned, farmers are affected least, whether there is any shifting or not. The burdens are most evenly distributed among civil servants and workers, and are most highly concentrated among the self-employed and those not gainfully employed. An additionally computed „probable alternative“ leads to the conclusion that the burden is regressive for civil servants and progressive for non-gainfully employed. In the case of farmers, self-employed, salaried employees and wage-earners varying burden curves are found. Across the board, the main burden is borne by the monthly net income brackets from DM 1,800.00 to 2,500.00 and DM 2,500.00 to 5,000.00. Referred to the gross income, the average burden of these income brackets is 34 °/o, but for the lower income brackets it is only 1% less. 4. A comparison of the „probable alternatives“ for 1969 and 1973 shows that in both years the farmers bore the smallest burden, and that in the comparable income brackets the burden rate even diminished from 1969 to 1973. In the case of the self-employed, the burden rate likewise decreased, but more in the lower income brackets than in the higher. In the case of civil servants and salaried employees slight rises in the burden rate were found in some instances, while for wage-earners and those not gainfully employed there were slight decreases. In all groups other than the self-employed, the concentration of the tax burden was more even in 1973 than in 1969, which even then was an indication of gradual „growth into the progression“.