Home News Belgium has world’s highest ‘wage taxes’

Belgium has world’s highest ‘wage taxes’

Published on 17/03/2004

17 March 2004

BRUSSELS – The gap between what an employer has to pay for an employee and the amount of money that worker actually takes home is higher in Belgium than any other country in the world, according to new figures released on Wednesday.

According to the Paris-base Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which brings together 30 of the world’s richest countries, a hefty 54.5 percent of the average Belgian worker’s gross salary is taken away in taxes and social security charges.

In other words an employee who takes home EUR 1,820 a month would actually cost his or her employer EUR 4,000.

Belgium’s notoriously high wage taxes are one of the main reasons employers here often try to encourage workers to opt for self-employment rather than offering full-time work contracts. 

After Belgium, Germany has the next largest ‘tax wedge’ says the OECD. There, 52 percent of average gross salaries disappear in taxes and other charges.

The OECD says such high tax and social security charges are a “major obstacle to job creation and people’s willingness to work.”

The organisation will publish a major survey on the question, called ‘Taxing Wages’ later this year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news