Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Tax Freedom Day Sweden, that is. Today, the average citizen finishes paying the government, and can now keep all of their salary for the remainder of the year. (In the UK, it's June 3; the USA, April 30.) Tax revenues are quite important to the Swedish government, as they represent 54% of its GDP; in the UK it's 37%, and the US, 29%.

I've been looking into information on tax rates in Sweden as compared to other countries. There's a wealth of data out there on the interwebs; I've found it surprisingly interesting.

My favourite stat so far is Sweden's total tax burden for a single worker: 48.6%. The US is 30%, and the UK 29.7%. (Belgium is over 55%. Whoa.) On top of that is VAT, which at 25%, is the highest in the world, adding a quarter to the cost of any good (like an incinerating toilet) or a service (like building a bathroom).

Once I receive my response from Skatteverket, I'll try to total up all of the taxes and municipal fees I've paid to build the house. I'm sure it will be a depressingly large figure.

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