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List of countries by tax rates (wikipedia.org)
25 points by mimsee on Oct 10, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

Wikipedia article oversimplifies labour taxation. It consists mostly of marginal tax rate and doesn't take into account tax breaks, tax-free allowance, etc. If you take that into account the picture is different.

I find OECD report on average labour taxation the best comparison, though limited to fewer countries: http://www.oecd.org/ctp/tax-policy/taxing-wages-tax-burden-t...

Also keep in mind in most developed countries there are major differences between average effective tax rate paid by single earners and family with dependents.

Another issue is that it doesn't specify what you get back for the money.

For example a country with 20% tax and free schools could have lower "effective tax" than a country with 10% tax where you have to pay tuition.

It's almost impossible to compare any single piece of a tax system in isolation without taking into account the cost of the living, market access and the tax system as a whole.

It may be better to look at government spending in proportion to the GDP and ignore how the government actually got this money. Even when the government lends money -- that's just money your grandchildren will have to pay back through taxes (with interest).

The gov-spending/GDP ratio should be a better indicator of the 'tax' climate.

But even that, could be very misleading. If you need a lot of high educated staff, you would prefer a government that spends that money on free high quality class-free education. If you are an oil company, you might actually prefer that money being spend on a war machine.

Of course, Wikipedia also has a list of countries by government spending and tax revenue as percentage of GDP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending#As_a_perce....

What I would actually appreciate was a source that would tell me the "real" taxes paid at every level. I don't know if one exists, but it would be a really interesting comparison.

I.e.: A source giving real percentage of taxes paid for each anual income. Why: because these here at the maximum taxes. These are pretty accurate for lower income people since they don't have many ways to avios paying taxes, but when you get to the very rich the number changes completely, they use a number of loopholes to avoid paying their taxes.

I'm not sure what to think of this information. It shows maximum tax rates, but the more useful figure is effective tax rates.

I doubt many people in the US pay the maximum tax rate listed here. I had no idea it was so high.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of tax payers are in each bucket for the countries that have large ranges.

More than you would think. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivity_in_United_States...

I'm always surprised to see how just how much misinformation and misconceptions there are in regards to the US tax system.

It's great example how to show numeric data and tell nothing about the world. In list like this I would expected weighted-average rate or at least median (how much typical person pays).

North Korea has surprisingly low tax rates for a communist country. I suppose if all the companies are owned by the state, they can just decrease salaries instead.

Today's North Korea doesn't have much to do with communism. It's a monarchy or a hereditary dictatorship or "Fascism meets Micromanagement". The difference is mostly in the distribution of power: while the individual is highly restricted in both systems, in communism it's your peers that are supposed to make your life miserable, not the supreme leader.

It's even more pronounced with Russia and China (and nowadays Turkey, with Hungarian aspirations to join the club): Fiercely capitalistic economies* in an almost complete absence of other civil liberties.

For NK, I doubt that a comparison makes any sense, considering how far removed it is from other countries' societies. How do you account for widespread forced labor? What's the real value of any income they get if part of it is in quotas for food, and most prices are subject to change at a moments notice when PJ thinks it's a good idea or toilet paper reserves are running dry?

*as long as it doesn't come into contact with political realm, and sometimes obscured by an additional kleptocratic layer.

(Direct) Taxes in Communist countries levied on the individuals were actually pretty low (to nonexistent), historically liberalism and socialism were against taxation, especially progressive tax system, as taxing labor was deemed immoral. In the USSR there was only a 13% income tax (and that's the highest it got post glasnost, it was lower before that) and it was a flat tax that was intended to finance pension contribution, so this was more of an SSC than a modern income tax.

Since the state controlled most of the means of generating capital and manufacturing (and hence profited directly from any goods they produced), direct taxation was unnecessary direct taxes were less than 10% of the government revenue of the USSR and most other soviet/communist states.

There were high taxes levied on some imports, as well as on foreign corporations there were also often export taxes on goods that were set for export that were not directly produced by state owned enterprises.

And (perhaps more reliably?) Vietnam... Like others have said, I'm skeptical as to how close these numbers are to reality.

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