Project BAK Taxation Index
The BAK Taxation Index is a methodologically sophisticated international tax comparison published by BAK Economics in cooperation with the Centre for European Research in Economics (ZEW) since 2003. The index captures the effective tax burden from the perspective of companies and highly qualified individuals in all 26 Swiss cantons and around 60 international competitor locations.
The BAK Taxation Index considers all relevant taxes at all levels of government, the interaction between these taxes and the most important rules for determining the tax bases. This allows meaningful comparisons between the tax burden in different locations, despite the differences in tax systems. Benchmarking based on statutory tax rates alone, on the other hand, would lead to an incomplete picture. The high-quality index is therefore frequently used for location decisions, the development of tax strategies and tax monitoring.
Furthermore, the project regularly analyses the financial sustainability of the Swiss cantons and their European competitor locations. The financial sustainability is a yardstick for the financial health of a public budget and thus for the durability of the current tax level. If required, special analyses are also carried out within the project, for example on the effects of the Swiss tax reform STAF (or TRAF) on the fiscal attractiveness of the Swiss cantons.
The main strength of the BAK Taxation Index
Highly informative: Tax systems differ (especially internationally) not only in terms of tariff tax rates, but also in terms of the type of taxes levied, the interaction of these taxes and the rules for determining the tax bases. The BAK Taxation Index takes all these tax factors into account. This guarantees the national and international comparability of the effective tax burden levied.
- Focus on regions: For many countries, the tax burden is not only recorded for the economic or political capital of a country, but also for additional regions. In particular, in Switzerland, the burden is calculated for all 26 cantons.
- Continuity: The index has been published in a methodologically consistent manner since 2003 and thus allows analyses of the tax burden over time.
- Credible: The methods applied are science-based. The project partners BAK Economics and ZEW enjoy an excellent reputation in Switzerland and internationally and their work is recognized as neutral.
The BAK Taxation Index project is made possible by the commitment of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) and the participation of tax, finance, economic and location promotion offices of the following Swiss cantons:
Project team BAK and ZEW
Senior Project Manager, BAK Economics
+41 61 279 97 29
Chief Economist, BAK Economics
+41 61 279 97 14
Prof. Dr. Jost Heckemeyer
Professor of Business Accounting and Corporate taxation, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Research Associate ZEW
Prof. Dr. Christina Elschner
Professor of Finance and Taxation, Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Research Associate ZEW