If you could do business anywhere in the world, wouldn’t you want to know the potential income taxes before moving and how that compares to the U.K tax rates?
The most straightforward answer to this question is that UK tax revenue is below the average of other developed economies. The UK stands out as raising less from social security contributions. This article from luminablog.co.uk aims to compare UK taxes with that of other countries in the EU.
Taxes in the UK
Britain’s tax system is made up of income tax bands at 20%, 40% and 45%, plus national insurance contributions of a further 12%, with low earners benefiting from a tax-free personal allowance at £11,500, which is higher than most other countries.
Higher earners pay income and social security taxes that are on a par with the US, Australia and Spain, but which are much less than those in France, Sweden and Ireland.
VAT, levied at a standard rate of 20%, is towards the lower end of sales tax rates across the EU, though council taxes are relatively high by comparison.
Countries with the Highest Income Tax
Based on information from online wealth and tax management firms, these are the EU countries with the highest income tax.
Germany has a progressive tax, which means that higher-income individuals pay more taxes than lower-income individuals. The country levies a progressive income and capital tax that caps out at 45%. Sources of taxable income include agriculture, forestry, business ownership, self-employment, employment, savings and investments, rental property, and capital gains and other income. The first €801 in savings and investment income is not taxed, thanks to the saver’s allowance. There is a 25% withholding tax on interest and dividends and a 15% withholding tax on royalties.
Members of certain churches pay an 8% or 9% church tax, which is tax-deductible. Church taxes are levied in many European countries. In some cases, only church members are required to pay a percentage of income to the church to which they belong; in others, all taxpayers pay a church tax, but have the option of paying it to the state instead of to a religious organization.
Belgium’s top progressive tax rate is 50%. Income from property, work, investments, and miscellaneous sources is all taxable. Capital gains tax rates depend on the type of capital. Employees pay a social security tax of 13.07% of their income. The government allows deductions for business expenses, social contributions, and 80% of alimony payments, and there is a personal allowance based on filing status.
Lithuania’s taxes its income earners at rates that top out at 32%. Taxable income includes employment, commercial activities, royalties, leasing assets, and “other.” Income unrelated to employment—including royalties, interest, and gains from the sale of property—is taxed at a rate of 15% or 20%, as are capital gains. Dividends are subject to a tax rate of 15%. There is no withholding tax charged on interest unless the individual in question isn’t a citizen of Lithuania, in which case the rate is 15%.
Denmark’s progressive income tax tops out at 55.9%. The Danes pay an 8% Danish labor market contribution tax, an 8% healthcare tax, 22.8% to 27.8% in municipal taxes, social security taxes of 1,135.8 kr. ($167.06) per year, and capital gains taxes of 27% or 42%. There is a withholding tax of 27% on dividends and 22% on royalties.
Employment income, bonuses, fringe benefits, business income, fees, pensions, annuities, social security benefits, dividends, interest, capital gains, and real estate rental income are all taxable. There is also a voluntary church tax of 0.39% to 1.3%.
Tax deductions are available for limited contributions to approved Danish pensions, unemployment insurance, interest on the debt, charitable contributions, unreimbursed work travel, and double households.