taxes

A Comparison of the Tax Burden on Labor in the OECD, 2016

Average wage earners in the United States face two major taxes: the individual income tax and the payroll tax (levied on both the employee and the employer).

Although a little more than half of a U.S. worker’s payroll tax burden is paid by his employer, the worker ultimately pays this tax through lower take-home pay.

The total tax burden faced by average wage earners in the United States is 31.7 percent of their pretax earnings, paying $17,558 in taxes in 2015, with $9,167 in individual income taxes and $8,391 in payroll taxes.

The total tax burden faced by average U.S. workers is the 24th highest in the OECD, below the 34-country average of 35.9 percent.

Many OECD countries have high payroll taxes, such as France, which places the highest payroll tax burden of 37.7 percent on average workers.

In some countries, over 50 percent of workers’ total tax burden is paid by their employers.

The tax burden for families in OECD countries is 25.3 percent lower on average than the tax burden on single, childless workers.

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