Unlike the American Revolution, which started with cries of "no taxation without representation," the overthrow of political and economic systems in Central and Eastern Europe did not have taxes at its forefront. Under socialism, taxes had been invisible to much of the population. They were part of an elaborate framework of central planning, rather than a separate, distinguishable element in the lives of typical citizens.
This article examines how tax structures have fared in the context of broader changes in Central and Eastern Europe. It investigates the extent to which these tax systems continue to reflect a legacy of socialism, as opposed to resembling those in the United States and other market economies. The author concludes that tax reform appears to be an evolutionary process, largely mimicking broader economic reforms. Even where changes have taken place in economic and tax policies, however, reform of tax administration remains a significant challenge.