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Taxing Wages 2015

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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 2015 includes a special feature entitled: ‘Modelling the tax burden on labour income in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa.'

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Overview

This chapter presents the main results of the analysis of the taxation of labour income across OECD member countries in 2014. Most emphasis is given to the tax wedge – a measure of the difference between labour costs to the employer and the corresponding net take-home pay of the employee – which is calculated by expressing the sum of personal income tax, employee plus employer social security contributions together with any payroll tax, minus benefits as a percentage of labour costs. The calculations also focus on the net personal average tax rate. This is the term used when the personal income tax and employee social security contributions net of cash benefits are expressed as a percentage of gross wage earnings. The analysis focuses in the single worker with no children on average earnings and makes a comparison with the single earner married couple with two children.

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