OECD: Larger tax burden on wages despite flat tax rates

Taxes on wages have risen by about 1 percentage point for the average worker in OECD countries between 2010 and 2014, even though the majority of governments did not increase statutory income tax rates, according to a new OECD report.

Taxing Wages 2015 said the tax burden has increased in 23 OECD countries and fallen in 10 during this period.

Most of the increased tax resulted from wages rising faster than tax allowances and credits. In 2014, only seven countries had higher statutory income tax rates for workers on average earnings than in 2010; in six countries they were lower.

In 2014, the tax burden on the average worker across the OECD increased by 0.1 of a percentage point to 36 percent, even though no OECD country increased its statutory income tax rates on the average worker. The tax burden increased in 23 of the 34 OECD countries, fell in nine and remained unchanged in two.

The highest average tax burdens for childless single workers earning the average wage in their country were in Belgium (55.6 percent), Austria (49.4), Germany (49.3) and Hungary (49). The lowest were in Chile (7), New Zealand (17.2), Mexico (19.5) and Israel (20.5 percent).