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Taxing Wages 2013

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Taxing Wages provides unique information on the taxes paid on wages in OECD countries.   It covers personal income taxes and social security contributions paid by employees; social security contributions and payroll taxes paid by employers and cash benefits paid by in-work families.   The purpose is to illustrate how these taxes and benefits are calculated in each member country and to examine how they impact on household incomes.   The results also enable quantitative cross-country comparisons of labour cost levels and the overall tax and benefit position of single persons and families on different levels of earnings.

The publication shows this information for eight household types which vary by income level and household composition and the results reported include the marginal and average tax burdens for one and two earner families and the total labour costs of employers.  These data are widely used in academic research and in the preparation and evaluation of social and economic policy making.

Taxing Wages 2013 includes a special feature entitled: ‘Average personal income tax rate and tax wedge progression in OECD countries.

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Special Feature: Average personal income tax rate and tax wedge progression in OECD countries

The statutory progressivity of the income taxes paid by wage earners, net of the standard cash benefits they receive, depend on the design and interaction of personal income taxes, social security contributions (SSCs) and cash benefits. In order to capture their combined impact, this paper presents statutory tax progressivity indicators for the 34 OECD member countries on the basis of average effective income tax rates and tax wedges which are calculated using the OECD’s Taxing Wages framework. The analysis shows a decreasing pattern of tax progressivity across income levels. In some countries, the tax system becomes regressive when the SSC ceiling has been reached. Also, child benefits increase progressivity (especially at low income levels) and their effect is larger than the flattening impact of SSCs, except at top income levels. Reductions in SSCs targeted at low-incomes and dependant spouse allowances increase progressivity in some OECD countries. Income-splitting systems typically have the opposite effect. This paper was first published under the title: D. Paturot, K. Mellbye and B. Brys (2013), “Average Personal Income Tax Rate and Tax Wedge Progression in OECD Countries”, OECD Taxation Working Papers, No. 15, OECD Publishing, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k4c0vhzsq8v-en.

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