Tax Burden in the Western Balkans – Albania, Kosovo…Tax Freedom Day 2024

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The report “Tax Burden in the Western Balkans – Albania, Kosovo…Tax Freedom Day 2024” is the main study of the monitoring process of the Albanian Fiscal Studies series of ALTAX in 2024. This report covers the fiscal period 2023 and is composed of 6 chapters . In the series of publications, this report is a tradition that specifically analyzes the tax burden, as well as its effects and impacts on income, but also looks closely at spending and redistribution in function of equality and decent living of taxpayers. ALTAX CENTER presents again this year, the highest and lowest tax burden in the countries of the Western Balkans.

The progress report on political, economic and fiscal indicators highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each aspect in relation to fiscal targets, presenting performance in terms of levels and trends.

The report is a comparative analysis with the year 2023 and forward that aims to predict the most visible similarities and events in the Albanian economy, public finances and fiscal policy with access to interpretations of inequality and income redistribution through spending. The analysis is elaborated from data and statistical publications from organizations, other national and international institutions, from the elaborations of economic experts.

In the drafting and publication of the 12th edition of the Tax Burden in the Western Balkans – Kosovo, Albania for 2023 and the calculation of the fiscal freedom day 2024, many individuals, ALTAX partners and tax friends have contributed and influenced. The head of ALTAX, Aurela Gjokutaj, has been a supporter since the beginning of this annual report 12 years ago.

The share of the tax burden is presented in the comparison between the countries of the Western Balkans by making the classification for the highest burden and the lowest tax burden recorded in 2023 and compared with the previous year’s rating. A special place of study also is the tax burden in Kosovo.

Calculation of the share they have in relation to budget and domestic regional production is an indicator that aims to present disproportion between the two Albanian states, but also between the Balkan regions themselves, where a special part holds the seven Western Balkan countries. The Balkans are part of Europe, geographically surrounded by EU members.

With the inclusion of the GINI index in the study is added a depth analysis about the wealth being, including the interactive effect of fiscal burden, revenue distribution, and the use of taxes on spending from the budget.

The purpose of presenting this study is to analyze and comment on important implications for the cities and countries involved in the study, since taxes, and fees are a key part of the tax burden and a source for enabling public services that impact on competitiveness and quality of life, economy and welfare of countries and cities. The data used for the calculations are obtained from official statistics sources, from finances, taxes and organizations that keep data and publish them, both domestically and externally. Part of the data was processed and used to compare and serve as the main reference for the presentation.

The study aims to attract policymakers and scholars attention, fiscal media, fiscal policy analysts and tax administration authorities, as well as critics who can reserve comment reviews or have questions about the calculations and facts presented in the document


In light of the empirical findings developed in this paper, it seems appropriate to conclude by briefly noting the policy implications of the results. First of all, the macroeconomic impact of the change in the tax burden is important in terms of the effects of the impact on economic growth, employment, the effect on prices, but also the effects on the current account and the budget balance.

In a Balkan region with small and open economies, dominated by the service sector and imports, there is a need for diversification in the harmonization of budget revenues that should continue to shift from the burden based on consumption taxes to the burden on income from capital and labor.

The overall impact of consumer prices in 2023 was large and influential on budget revenues from consumption.

Because public spending tends to grow at least as fast as national product, taxes, as the main means of government finance, must produce revenues that grow correspondingly. Income, sales and value added taxes generally meet this criterion. Property tax and taxes on non-essential items of mass consumption such as tobacco products and alcoholic beverages do not.

A more active approach requires changes in tax rates or other provisions to increase the countercyclical effects of tax revenues, but designed to serve the economy and the public rather than politicians and their power games.

In this context, the calculation of the tax burden presented in this study aims to determine the effects that originate from taxes, both with approaches to public finance, but also to the economy and social policies. The tax burden can increase when the performance in tax revenue is greater than the increase in the income of individuals and businesses. If we were to refer to a tax system with optimal tax rates, we would actually have an optimal level of tax burden, which would not negatively affect producers or consumers, in terms of equality and neutrality without forgetting tax justice.

However, in the analysis of the tax burden and its effects in recent years, it has been seen that the increase in the tax burden is not the cause, but the result of the need for increased public spending to maintain the socio-economic structure of countries, but also increased responsibilities of governments to meet the growing expectations of citizens in the shortest possible time.

The tax burden, being a link between tax collected and gross domestic product (GDP), can be influenced by many economic components. In fact, a state tax bill is one of the most important reasons for the increase in the tax burden.

The calculation of the tax burden, in the 12th edition of their publication, presents the results of the methodology used by the experts of the ALTAX Center for the calculation of Tax Freedom Day, 2024. It has already become a reference for researchers, journalists, experts and students. and aims to create a different approach in the Albanian economic and political environment