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Study Compares Tax Freedom Day Across The EU

By Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

04 August 2014

"Tax Freedom Day" has come two days later for taxpayers across the European Union in 2014, according to analysis from the Institut économique Molinari.

The Institut Économique Molinari (IEM), which is located in Brussels, based its assessment on data from EY. The think-tank found that tax freedom day – the notional day when taxpayers' income stops funding state expenditure and is received entirely by taxpayers for themselves – came earliest this year for Cypriot taxpayers, on March 21, followed by Ireland and Malta on April 28, and the UK on May 12. Most EU countries experienced "Tax Freedom Day" in June, but in France tax freedom day did not come until July 28. Belgians must wait until August 6.

According to the IEM's report, increases in payroll taxes and value-added tax mean that the average effective tax rate in the EU has reached 45.27 percent. This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 0.21 percent, and a rise of 1.27 percent since 2010. For France, however, the rate is 57.17 percent, and for Belgium 59.6 percent.

Cécile Philippe, who is the IEM's director and co-author of the report, described the situation for France as "very worrying." She said that the tax burden had continued to grow despite calls for tax breaks, and that the trend was the opposite to that seen in relation to Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. She added that despite high taxes, France is currently among the most indebted countries in the European Union.

TAGS: VAT rates | tax | value added tax (VAT) | Belgium | Ireland | Malta | Netherlands | United Kingdom | payroll | tax rates | social security | Cyprus | France | Germany | Italy | individual income tax | European Union (EU) | Europe | Tax

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