In the last two decades, favourable macroeconomic conditions and the design of better tax systems were the background to the rising fiscal revenues in Latin America (the average tax to GDP ratio rose almost continuously from 13.6% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2012). This trend contrasts with that in the OECD area where the ratio has been relatively stable. Nevertheless, significant differences between Latin America and OECD countries can be observed.

At country level, this growth is driven by unusually high levels of tax collection in recent years, notably in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay. The majority of the countries showed increases of between 3 and 8 percentage points from 1990 to 2012.

Chart A. Total tax revenues as percentage of GDP in Latin America and OECD, 1990-2012

1. Represents a group of 18 Latin American countries. These are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Chile and Mexico are also part of the OECD (34) group.
2. Represents the unweighted average for OECD member countries.
Source: Table 1 in Part II.A.

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