Taxing Wages 2020

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This annual publication provides details of 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 received by workers. It illustrates how these taxes and benefits are calculated in each member country and examines how they impact 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 average and marginal effective tax rates on labour costs for eight different household types, which vary by income level and household composition (single persons, single parents, one or two earner couples with or without children). The average tax rates measure the part of gross wage earnings or labour costs taken in tax and social security contributions, both before and after cash benefits, and the marginal tax rates the part of a small increase of gross earnings or labour costs that is paid in these levies.

Taxing Wages 2020 includes a special feature entitled: “How Tax Systems Influence Choice of Employment Form”.

English Also available in: French

Executive Summary

In 2019 the OECD average tax wedge for the single worker earning the average wage was 36.0%, a decrease of 0.11 percentage points from 2018 and the sixth consecutive annual decrease. The tax wedge measures the difference between the labour costs to the employer and the corresponding net take-home pay of the employee. It is calculated as the sum of the total personal income tax (PIT) and social security contributions (SSCs) paid by employees and employers, minus cash benefits received, as a proportion of the total labour costs for employers.

English Also available in: French

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