The tax burden of workers in the EU


First published in 2010, the 2017 study by the Institut économique Molinari (IEM) underscores the latest fiscal developments within the EU. The study compares the tax and social security burdens of individual employees earning typical salaries in each of the 28 Member States. The main purpose of the report is to determine a “Tax Freedom Day”, measuring how much of the year’s work is devoted to paying taxes for workers in each member country. In addition, the study tracks year-to-year trends in both the taxation on and cost of salaried labour in the EU28.

Whilst there are several studies that rank political systems by measuring specific features of economic freedom (e.g. economic openness, rule of law, ease of doing business, regulatory efficiency and government size), they usually fail to shed light on the working individual’s role in financing the state and social security. Thus, the IEM Tax Burden study creates a comparison of tax rates, with data that reflects the reality experienced by the average worker in the EU. Finally, the report serves as a guide to the true cost of hiring employees in each Member State.

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