Expatica news

Belgium still near the top of European Union tax league

3 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium is the third highest taxed country in the European Union, new figures have shown.

The average European tax bill in 2003, including social security charges, was 41.5 percent of GDP, a rise of 0.2 percent on the previous year.

But Belgium surpassed this average by a significant margin, claiming 48.1 percent of its citizens’ wages, according to new figures from EU statistics agency Eurostat.

It fell behind just two other EU countries – Sweden, which boasts a 51.4 percent tax rate, and Denmark, with 49.8 percent tax.

French citizens are also hounded by the tax man, handing over 45.7 percent of their wages, and Finns fare little better on 45.1 percent.

The best countries for low taxes are Lithuania (28.7 percent), Latvia (29.1percent), Slovakia (30.9 percent), Ireland (31.2 percent), and Estonia (33.4 percent).

Despite its high taxes, Belgium still features among seven countries where the tax rate has fallen by 0.6 percent.

Belgium also benefits from having a low direct tax rate of 28.8 percent, which rises to 34.6 percent when social security contributions are added.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news