Belgians pay higher tax rates than any other citizens in OECD countries, according to the organization’s new Taxing Wages 2016 report. A childless, single worker earning the average national wage in Belgium has an average tax wedge of over 55%.
The tax wedge refers to personal income tax, employer and employee social security contributions, minus family benefits received as a proportion of total employer labour costs.
Across the OECD, the tax wedge on the average worker was 35.9% in 2015 – the same as the year before.
Following Belgium, Austria has the second highest tax rate. The average childless, single Austrian has a tax wedge of just under 50%. The top three is completed by Austria’s neighbour Germany. Here, the wedge is marginally lower at 49.4%.
At the other end of the scale, average earners in Chile pay just 7% tax.
Across different household types, a varied picture emerges. For example, for a single-earner family with two children, the tax wedge is highest in France, at 40.5%. The overall picture is one of higher tax burdens in Europe, compared with other OECD nations. The majority of European countries sit above the OECD average of 35.9%.
This interactive tool from the OECD allows you to explore the situation across household types and tax levels.