Taxing Wages1 is an annual publication that provides details of taxes paid on wages in the 38 member countries of the OECD. The information contained in the Report covers the personal income tax and social security contributions paid by employees, the social security contributions and payroll taxes paid by their employers and cash benefits received by families. The objective of the Report is to illustrate how personal income taxes, social security contributions and payroll taxes are calculated and to examine how these levies and family benefits impact on net household incomes. The results also allow quantitative cross-country comparisons of labour costs and of the overall tax and benefit position of different household types.

The Report shows the amount of taxes, social security contributions, payroll taxes and cash benefits for eight household types, which differ by income level and household composition. It also presents the resulting average and marginal tax rates. Average tax rates show the share of gross wage earnings or total labour costs2 that is taken in personal income taxes (before and after cash benefits), social security contributions and payroll taxes. Marginal tax rates show the share of an increase in gross earnings or total labour costs that is paid in these levies.

This edition of the Report presents data on the tax and benefit position of employees in 2023, which it compares with corresponding data for the year 2022.

The Report is structured as follows:

  • Part I (Tax burden comparisons and trends) includes six chapters:

    • Chapter 1 contains an overview of the main results for 2023.

    • Chapter 2 contains the Special Feature on “Tax and gender through the lens of the second earner”.

    • Chapter 3 reviews the main results for 2023, which are summarised in comparative tables and figures.

    • Chapter 4 presents a graphical exposition of the estimated tax burden on labour income in 2023 for gross wage earnings between 50% and 250% of the average wage.

    • Chapter 5 provides comparative tables showing the main results for 2022.

    • Chapter 6 shows historical trends in the tax burden for the period 2000-2023.

  • Part II contains individual country tables specifying the wage levels considered and the associated tax burdens for eight separate household types, together with descriptions of each country’s tax/benefit system.

  • The Annex describes the Taxing Wages methodology and its limitations.

The Report has been prepared by the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) under the auspices of Working Party No.2 on Tax Policy Analysis and Tax Statistics (WP2) of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs. The Report was led by Edoardo Magalini under the supervision of Alexander Pick, Acting Head of the Tax Data and Statistical Analysis Unit, with support from Leonie Cedano. The Special Feature was authored by Alexander Pick and Edoardo Magalini. The authors would like to acknowledge Michael Sharratt for his role in data management and dissemination and Violet Sochay for the publication formatting. The authors would like to thank other colleagues in CTPA for their support and valuable comments: David Bradbury, Bert Brys, Manal Corwin, Karena Garnier, Michelle Harding, Diana Hourani, Sarah Perret, Michaël Sicsic, Carrie Tyler and Kurt Van Dender. The authors would also like to thank the delegates of WP2 for their inputs. The development of the Taxing Wages models used in this Report was funded by the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.


← 1. Earlier editions were published under the title The Tax/Benefit Position of Employees (1996–1998 editions) and The Tax/Benefit Position of Production Workers (editions published before 1996).

← 2. The reference wage for these calculations is provided by countries. The estimates for the average wage refer to a full-time employee (engaged either in manual or non-manual activities) who works in either industry sectors B-N inclusive with reference to the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, Revision 4 (ISIC Rev.4) or in industry sectors C-K inclusive with reference to the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, Revision 3 (ISIC Rev.3). More information is contained in Chapter 1 of the Report and in the Annex.

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