For those you who feel like taxes are nothing but the Man keeping you down, perhaps a reason to celebrate: you live in only the 12th most oppressive tax nation!
A Swiss policy institute that promotes tax competition evaluated the 30 OECD (organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations on three main categories – tax attractiveness, public governance and financial privacy – to determine which countries, tax-wise, are the most life-sucking.
Though the US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, our general stability (as compared to the rest of the world - we may not be in great shape, but a military coup is unlikely) - landed us at No. 12.
It was not until 1992 that the Queen had to bear her own tax burden - she started paying income tax that year. Depending on income, her fellow countrymen may pay as much as 50%.
Needing to increase revenue, the Greek government asked for more than usual from their citizens this year - depending on income and in addition to normal tax requirments, a one-off tax ranging from 1000 to 4000 euros was imposed.
Hungarians are not as lucky as the French when it comes to the V.A.T this year; in April the prime minister announced the stadard V.A.T. will jump from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
Despite being the 6th most oppresive tax country, Belgium has created a healthy tax haven for the entertainment industry; companies based in Belgium recieve a 150% tax break on investments in motion pictures, documentaries, animation and some television productions.
The self-employed in the Netherlands have a strong incentive to incorporate themselves - the top tax rate for a corporation is 35 per cent while individuals pay as much as 60 per cent.
On top of their progressive income tax rate, which can reach 45 per cent, Germans are obligated to pay a 'solidarity surcharge' of 5.5 per cent of their income.
Only 8.8 per cent of Mexico's GDP comes from income and sales tax, less than half the average of other developed nations, according to a recent Reuters article. As Mexico continues to struggle, tax reform - in the way of higher taxes - may be on the horizon.
Poland, according to the oppression index, is fairly attractive tax-wise, but a lack of confidence in the government and minimal financial privacy make it the number three most oppressive tax nation.
The current corporate tax rate in Turkey is 20 per cent, but an incentive package proposed for 2010 will bring that way down; in certain regions the corporate tax would be as low as two per cent.
For such a beautiful country, Italy is just not tax attractive. A 43 per cent personal income tax rate at the top level and an effective corporate tax rate of more than 31 per cent, combined with regional taxes, means a lot of money moves from Italian citizens to the well-lined pockets of Silvio Berlusconi.
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