We all hear talk of the ruinous tax rates in Europe as opposed to the US. I mean, us poor oppressed Europeans are at least supposed to get something for the vast sums we give our socialist, corrupt and limp-wristed governments, of course, but they say we pay a lot.
So let’s lay it out, shall we? Nothing too revealing, of course, but maybe I could get some of you to dig back to your files from tax season and give me some representative percentages (no concrete numbers, please).
What I would be interested in knowing, if anyone wants to join my rough and ready survey, is the following:
It would also be interesting, if you wanted, to note the country and state you live in, the number of hours you work a week, and anything else that might be of interest to someone trying to get a feel for these things.
I will, of course, start. I’ll use the latest tax figures I have for the two tax regimes I’ve lived in in the recent past.
United Kingdom: (from my last full-year P60, for the tax year ended 5 April 2007†
I lived in Scotland* and worked 28 hours a week throughout that year. I visited my general practitioner once or twice on my own behalf, and about half a dozen times for the kids.
The Netherlands: (from my tax return for 2008)
I live in Noord-Holland* and worked 32 hours a week throughout that year, and had no major out of pocket medical expenses.
(It is hereby acknowledged that this kind of survey is rough, ready, inaccurate, non-representative, and downright statistically sinful. Excludes sales taxes (generally higher in Europe), local taxes, fuel taxes, and wear and tear on bike tires.)
† The British tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April. Just imagine how much fun that is.
* Not that either of these makes any difference, because neither the UK nor the Netherlands has an equivalent of state taxes