Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's compare taxes: USA, Canada, Australia



OK. Let's demystify this whole tax thing. Here are the tax rates for a number of countries. Starting with the

United States of America, 2008 tax rates (Wikipedia):

For 2008, the Federal tax brackets for a single (unmarried) person are:

* 10%: from $0 to $8,025
* 15%: from $8,026 to $32,550
* 25%: from $32,551 to $78,850
* 28%: from $78,851 to $164,550
* 33%: from $164,551 to $357,700
* 35%: $357,701 and above
40 percent of Americans pay no federal taxes. The bottom 50 percent pay 2.9 percent of total American tax. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of collected taxes. Those are the IRS numbers. We almost have redistribution already.

Canada's federal government has the following tax brackets for the 2007 tax year:

• 15% from 0 to $37,885
• 22% from $37,885 to $75,769
• 26% from $75,769 to $123,184
29% $123,184 and above

Australia's 2008-2009 financial year taxes are:

* Nil from 0 to $6,000
* 15% from $6,000 to $34,000
* 30% from $34,001 to $80,000
* 40% from $80,001 to $180,000
* 45% 180,001 and over

Sweden 2002 personal income tax rates:

* 31% from 0 to 232,600 Krona (about $173,065)
* 51% from 232,000 Krona to 374,000 Krona (about $278,000)
* 56% 374,000 Krona ($278,000) and above
Taxes in Sweden consume more than 50 percent of GDP (gross domestic product, or total value of all goods and services produced in a country). The aggregate tax burden rose by about 150 percent between 1950 and 1980, but has since that time remained relatively stable. The top marginal income tax rate is about 57 percent. While punitive, the top rate used to be nearly 90 percent in the late 1970s (right before I visited there). While the long-term trend is positive, the short-term trend is unfavorable. The top tax rate had fallen to 51 percent immediately after the 1991 reform.

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