Jobs and the Future of Work

In which countries do people pay the most tax?

Ross Chainey
Content Lead, UpLink, World Economic Forum
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Jobs and the Future of Work?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of Work is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of Work

Income tax is a constant source of controversy and debate, no matter what country you live in. “Should 5% appear too small, be thankful I don’t take it all … You’re working for no one but me,” sang the Beatles in their 1966 hit Taxman, in an attack on the then Labour government’s high tax rates.

The amount of income tax you pay varies wildly between countries, from almost 60% for high earners in certain countries to 0% in some offshore havens and oil-rich nations.

So, which countries take the biggest slice of their workers’ earnings? The table below shows the top 15 countries for marginal personal income tax rates in 2014, as well as selected Nordic and G7 nations.

who-pays-the-most-tax

Sweden tops the list with a whopping tax rate of 56.86%, followed closely by Nordic neighbour Denmark (56.22%), France (54.01%) and Spain (52%).

For an in-depth look at how business tax rates (rather than personal income tax) vary around the world and what this means for a country’s level of competitiveness, take a look at our Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16.

Have you read?
Was Picketty right to call for a wealth tax?
Why the wealthy don’t understand income inequality
Why are tax revenues so low in South Asia?

Author: Ross Chainey, Digital Media Specialist, World Economic Forum

Image: Workers walk across a footbridge towards the Canary Wharf business district in London February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Jobs and the Future of WorkGeo-Economics and PoliticsFinancial and Monetary SystemsEconomic Growth
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Multinationals could help close parenthood wage gaps. This is how

Khadija van der Straaten, Niccolò Pisani and Ans Kolk

June 21, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum