The overall tax-to-GDP ratio across the 27 member states of the European Union was 39.3 per cent in 2008, the first year of the economic and financial crisis, compared with 39.7 per cent in 2007, EU statistics office Eurostat said on June 28 2010. Across the EU, the tax ratio was 40.6 per cent in 2000, which fell to 38.9 per cent in 2004 and then rose until 2007.The overall tax ratio in the 16-member euro zone, the group of countries using the common European currency, fell to 39.7 per cent in 2008 compared with 40.4 per cent in 2007. Since 2000, taxes in the euro area have followed a similar trend to the EU27, although at a slightly higher level, according to Eurostat.In comparison with the rest of the world, the EU27 tax ratio remains generally high and more than one third above the levels recorded in the US and Japan, Eurostat said. However, the tax burden varies significantly among EU member states, ranging in 2008 from less than 30 per cent in Romania (28 per cent), Latvia (28.9 per cent), Slovakia (29.1 per cent) and Ireland (29.3 per cent), to almost 50 per cent in Denmark (48.2 per cent) and Sweden (47.1 per cent).Between 2000 and 2008, the largest falls in tax-to-GDP ratios were recorded in Slovakia (from 34.1 per cent in 2000 to 29.1 per cent in 2008), Sweden (from 51.8 per cent to 47.1 per cent) and Finland (from 47.2 per cent to 43.1 per cent), and the highest increases in Cyprus (from 30 per cent to 39.2 per cent) and Malta (from 28.2 per cent to 34.5 per cent).This information comes from the 2010 edition of the publication Taxation trends in the European Union issued by Eurostat and the Commission's Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union. The publication compiles tax indicators in a harmonised framework based on the European System of Accounts (ESA 95), allowing accurate comparison of the tax systems and tax policies between EU Member States.This year's edition of the report introduces data on cyclically-adjusted total tax revenues.Cyclical adjustment is a statistical technique that allows an assessment of to what extent the changes in the tax ratios are due to cyclical factors and to what extent they reflect permanent developments such as tax hikes or cuts. The cyclically-adjusted data indicate that the marked pickup in the tax ratio recorded in 2004-2007 was essentially due to the economic upswing in that period. The report also includes a full overview of the tax measures taken by EU member states to counteract the effects of the crisis, with a quantification of their budgetary impact. The largest source of tax revenue in the EU27 is labour taxes, Eurostat said, representing more than 40 per cent of total tax receipts, followed by consumption taxes at about one quarter and taxes on capital at just over one fifth.The average implicit tax rate on labour, a broad measure of the tax burden falling on work income, was almost unchanged in the EU27 at 34.2 per cent in 2008 compared with 34.3 per cent in 2007, after having declined from 35.8 per cent in 2000. Among EU member states, the implicit tax rate on labour ranged in 2008 from 20.2 per cent in Malta, 24.5 per cent in Cyprus and 24.6 per cent in Ireland to 42.8 per cent in Italy, 42.6 per cent in Belgium and 42.4 per cent in Hungary.The average implicit tax rate on consumption in the EU27, which had risen between 2001 and 2007, dropped to 21.5 per cent in 2008 from 22.2% in 2007. In 2008, implicit tax rates on consumption were lowest in Spain (14.1 per cent), Greece (15.1 per cent) and Italy (16.4 per cent), and highest in Denmark (32.4 per cent), Sweden (28.4 per cent) and Luxembourg (27.1 per cent). According to Eurostat, in the EU27, the average implicit tax rate on capital for EU member states for which data are available was 26.1 per cent in 2008 compared with 26.8 per cent in 2007. The lowest implicit tax rates on capital were recorded in Estonia (10.7 per cent), Lithuania (12.4 per cent) and Ireland (15.7 per cent), and the highest in the United Kingdom (45.9 per cent), Denmark (43.1 per cent) and France (38.8 per cent). The top personal income tax rate in the EU27 increased in 2010, largely due to a 10-percentage point hike in the United Kingdom. The highest top rates on 2010 personal income are found in Sweden (56.4 per cent), Belgium (53.7 per cent) and the Netherlands (52 per cent), and the lowest in Bulgaria (10 per cent), the Czech Republic and Lithuania (both 15 per cent). Between 2000 and 2010, the largest decreases were registered in Bulgaria (from 40 per cent in 2000 to 10 per cent in 2010), Romania (from 40 per cent to 16 per cent) and Slovakia (from 42 per cent to 19 per cent), all of which moved to flat rate systems, and the highest increases in the United Kingdom (from 40 to 50 per cent) and Sweden (from 51.5 per cent to 56.4 per cent).Corporate tax rates in the EU27 continued their declining trend in 2010, Eurostat said. The highest statutory tax rates on 2010 corporate income are recorded in Malta (35 per cent), France (34.4 per cent) and Belgium (34 per cent), and the lowest in Bulgaria and Cyprus (both 10 per cent) and Ireland (12.5 per cent). Between 2000 and 2010, the largest decreases were registered in Bulgaria (from 32.5 per cent to 10 per cent), Germany (from 51.6 per cent to 29.8 per cent), Cyprus (from 29 to 10 per cent) and Greece (from 40 per cent to 24 per cent). In the EU27, Eurostat said, the average standard VAT rate rose to 20.2 per cent in 2010 from 19.8 per cent in 2009. It was 19.2 per cent in 2000. In 2010, the standard VAT rate varied from 15 per cent in Cyprus and Luxembourg to 25 per cent in Denmark, Hungary and Sweden.Between 2000 and 2010, the VAT rate remained unchanged in 13 EU member states, rose in 12 and fell only in Slovakia (from 23 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2010) and the Czech Republic (from 22 per cent to 20 per cent). The highest increases were registered in Greece (from 18 per cent to 23 per cent) and Cyprus (from 10 per cent to 15 per cent).