In this world, nothing can be said to be certain – except death and taxes. —> Benjamin Franklin
This sardonic proverb is well known and appreciated all over the world, especially by those who are paying taxes on their income. That the tax man (or woman – why not!) is compared to the grim reaper is a tribute enough to the fear and resignation that income taxes have inspired in the minds of one and all. Most of the otherwise honest tax payers have great difficulty in understanding the rationale of parting with their hard earned money for whatever purpose income taxes purport to fulfill.
Most of the countries impose some form or other of taxes on the income of their denizens – be they citizens or residents, or ordinarily residents, non-ordinarily resident or non-residents (or how ever the tax authorities chose to describe heir hapless victims!). However, there are some countries where the income tax rate are zero. Yes, you heard that right – ZERO!! I will publish a list of zero income tax countries too – very soon. Just remember to come back here!
Another class of countries exists, which are called tax havens or tax haven countries. They are almost heaven for those who are earning a great deal of money, and are, therefore, liable to pay a great deal of taxes. In a tax haven country, the rate of income tax is very low, sometimes zero. This means that if you are based in a tax haven, you can take home most of what you have earned in whatever way – that tax man won’t bother you at all – or not much, at any ‘rate’!
This article is not about those tax havens, or about zero income tax countries. This article is about those countries which impose the MAXIMUM amount of taxes on the income of their denizens. Wherever you live, you will certainly hear people complaining about how the income taxes are killing them, how the income taxes are usurious, how the income taxes are taking away most of their hard earned income and so on. Even you, yourself, might be one of those doing the complaining – I do so frequently! In that case, you can take consolation from reading this list. And, if you you are LIVING in one of the countries that figure in this list, then well, what can I say!
Before I give you the list of countries with highest income tax rates, I will like to clarify the following points -
>> These are the highest marginal tax rates – most of the countries have progressive taxes, i.e., lower tax rates at low income level, and increasing gradually with increasing income.
>> The rates mentioned here are the individual tax rates – there are other types of taxes on income also – such as corporate income taxes and VAT etc. To get a complete picture about the taxation level in a country, you should know all the different types of taxes in force there.
>> The income tax rates mentioned in the article are as of 2009. They may change from year to year.
>> High income taxes do not always imply BAD, and conversely, low income tax rates do not always imply GOOD.
Highest Income Tax Countries List
So, ladies and gentlemen, now that I have rid myself of the caveats, here is the list. The list is arranged in the reverse chronological order, going from lowest to highest.
10. Australia, Cape Verde, China, Croatia —–> 45%
9. Israel ——> 46%
8. Canada ——> 48.25%
7. Austria, Belgium, Cuba, Senegal ——> 50%
6. Finland ——> 51.5%
5. Netherlands —–> 52%
4. Aruba —–> 58.95%
3. Denmark —-> 59%
2. Sweden —-> 59.17%
1. Chad —-> 60%