Tax. We all know we need to pay it, but how much do you know about other country’s tax systems? If you ever wanted to know who pays the most tax in the world and who pays the least, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to reveal some of the most interesting facts surrounding tax.
1. Sweden pays the highest income tax
Kicking off our tax facts is the highest income tax paid by the highest earners in the country. In Sweden, its highest earners paid a staggering 57.19% – that’s more than anywhere else in the world. The USA’s highest tax rate is 37%. And according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average paid is 41.65%. With that being said, Nordic countries do pay over the average at 55.89%, 53.75% and 46.24% for Denmark, Finland, and Iceland respectively.
2. Some countries don’t have income tax
Those who live in Bermuda, Monaco, the Bahamas, Andorra and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can benefit from having to pay no income tax. We know, that sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Now, you can’t just pack your bags and move to one of these income-tax-free countries. Some countries still require you to pay tax to your birth country even when you move to another country to call it home.
3. If you move from the US you’ll still need to pay US taxes
As we said before, sometimes you can’t simply move to a tax-free country in the hope of not paying it. If you are a US citizen and move to another country, you still have a legal obligation to file US taxes just as you would if you were living in the country. The only way to not pay taxes, if you’re legally required to, without getting into hot water with the IRS is to renounce your citizenship – and that is a whole other challenge.
4. Taxation can be dated back to 3,000 B.C.
Tax isn’t a new thing, it’s ancient. According to Northeastern University, “the first record of organized taxation comes from Egypt around 3000 BC and is mentioned in numerous historical sources including the Bible. Chapter 47, verse 33 of the Book of Genesis describes the tax collection practices of the Egyptian kingdom, explaining that the Pharaoh would send commissioners to take one-fifth of all grain harvests as a tax.”
5. There are some strange taxes around the world
We all know about the classic taxes we all have to pay, but did you know there are some much stranger ones in existence?
- England decided to impose a tax on all printed wallpaper in 1712. To get around paying for this, the plain paper was put on walls and had designs painted on them.
- If you eat a pumpkin but do not carve it in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, it is exempt from a sales tax.
- Maine produces 99% of the wild blueberries in the US, which is why there is a tax on the fruit for anyone who grows them, purchases them, and sells them.
Feeling clued up on all things tax, with some fun facts you can share with friends? While many of us may not be fans, it’s something we have to manage day to day to stay on the right side of the law.