• Sweden edition
 

Swedes pay less tax than the Danes

Published: 29 Jun 2010 08:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jun 2010 08:19 GMT+02:00

Danes pay the highest level of tax in the EU, measured as a tax-to-GDP ratio of 48.2 percent, pushing Sweden into second place with an overall tax take of 47.1 percent, new figures from Eurostat show.

"In comparison with the rest of the world, the EU27 tax ratio remains generally high and more than one third above the levels recorded in the USA and Japan. However, the tax burden varies significantly between Member States," Eurostat said in a statement on Monday.

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio in the EU27 was 39.3 percent in 2008 and so both the Swedes and the Danes pay significantly more in tax than the EU average.

The overall tax take has increased somewhat since the financial crisis, from 39.7 percent in 2007, but still down on 40.6 percent in 2000.

Romania has the distinction of paying the least tax in the EU with a take of 28 percent, followed by Latvia on 28.9 percent, Slovakia on 29.1 percent and Ireland on 29.3 percent.

Swedes, who long occupied top spot in the rankings, have seen their tax burden declined steadily from a 2000 high of 51.8 percent. Neighbouring Finland has also cut its levies from 47.2 percent in 2000 to 43.1 percent in 2008.

Cyprus and Malta have meanwhile experienced the highest increases over the period, from 30 percent to 39.2 percent, and 28.2 percent to 34.5 percent respectively.

Among euro area countries the overall tax ratio fell to 39.7 percent in 2008, from 40.4 percent in 2007 with taxes following a similar trend to the EU27, just at a slightly higher level.

The largest source of tax revenue in the EU27 is labour taxes, representing over 40 percent of total tax receipts, followed by consumption taxes at roughly one quarter and taxes on capital at just over one fifth.

In Sweden "implicit tax rate" on labour has declined from 46 percent in 2000 to 42.1 in 2008, and on capital, from 43.2 percent to 27.9 percent over the period. Taxes have meanwhile increased on consumption, from 26.3 percent in 2000 to 28.4 percent in 2008.

Sweden still has the highest top tax rate on personal income in the EU27 with 56.4 percent in 2010, followed by Belgium on 53.7 percent and the Netherlands on 52 percent. The lowest top rate income taxes can be found in Bulgaria with 10 percent, and the Czech Republic and Lithuania on 15 percent.

This information comes from the 2010 edition of the publication Taxation trends in the European Union issued by Eurostat, which is the statistical office of the European Union and the Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:00 June 29, 2010 by Kevin Harris
"Swedes pays less tax than the Danes"

Well done The Local for trying to put a positive spin on this sad statistic, but wouldn't a better title be:

"Swedes pay more tax than everyone else - except the Danes."
09:15 June 29, 2010 by Pont-y-garreg
It might be worthwhile correcting the grammatical error too! "Pays"?
09:55 June 29, 2010 by voiceofreason
Danes are paid more for the same Job, what about that.
10:29 June 29, 2010 by eppie
Nice 'coincedence' that the countries with high taxes are mainly the prosperous ones. Maybe the two things are connected?
10:43 June 29, 2010 by joshr
Shh. Don't publicize this. The government will want to be #1 again!
13:50 June 29, 2010 by here for the summer
Says Sweden still the highest tax on personal income. I wonder what the difference is?

@eppie .. looks like Ireland one of the lowest is above Sweden one of the highest ..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita
15:51 June 29, 2010 by mikmak
@here for the summer

Prosperous != High GDP
19:11 June 29, 2010 by ppk
It would be interesting to see where goes the taxes, by sector (for each Krona, what % goes for health, education, immigration, etc.)
06:50 June 30, 2010 by NovaLand
ppk: http://www.sweden.gov.se/content/1/c6/14/86/76/cf7ffb94.pdf check out page 19
07:35 June 30, 2010 by eppie
@here for the summer

the crisis was not good for Ireland. Great example of what speculation and low taxes do to a country.
21:55 June 30, 2010 by alu
Just returned from a visit back home (manchester uk) and my suit case was full of everything that costs 6 times as much over here!!

Alverdon 16tabs apotek 39:- Tesco 16 tabs for 38p

fly spray Coop or ica 79:- tesco 1.59

Gillet razor blades coop 185:- for 4 Tesco 12.99 for 12

shampoo Loreal coop or ica 45.- Tesco 2 for a fiver!!! 400ml each WOW

the list is endless...

I went to the docs here in sweden paid 120:- for the visit and then 350:- for the tablets!

ppk ...yes it would be very very interesting where the taxes do go....
21:37 July 1, 2010 by USA Is Number 1
Sweden still has the highest income tax rate in the EU on the highest ordinary income earners. I don't see what good that does in retaining such people.
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