Belgium is the second highest-taxed in Europe

A study on “Tax Burden of Typical Workers in the EU-28 2017” was released today by the Institut Économique Molinari.

No tax relief came this year for workers and employers in Belgium, where the Tax Liberation Day for workers is again July 27th – the second latest date in the EU-28, with France (July 29th) also unchanged from last year.

2017’s Tax Liberation Days
2017’s Tax Liberation Days

Key findings – Belgium 

  • Belgians are second-most expensive employees to hire in the EU, but rank 10th in net income.
  • The Belgian government takes more than any other EU country from a typical employee’s salary (33 916€).
  • Belgium is now the country that taxes labour at the second-highest rate in the European Union; an employer in Belgium spends 2.15€ for a typical worker to net 1€ after taxes.
  • A Belgian employee’s “real tax rate” (including VAT) is now 56.7%, compared to an EU average of 44.8%.
Tableau 1
Source: Institut Économique Molinari

“It was encouraging to hear Kris Peeters confirm that a ‘third wave’ of the ‘tax shift’ will lead to higher net pay for workers and lower costs for employers starting in 2018. For this year, there is no change: Belgians are still working five weeks longer than Swedes to pay their taxes. Nevertheless, they should be optimistic for next year.”  explained James Rogers, researcher from the Institut Économique Molnari and co-author of this study.

On Belgium, Cécile Phillipe, researcher from the Institut Économique Molnari and co-author of this study, underlined that “much still needs to be done in Belgium, but the current government has demonstrated its capacity to reverse the trend of the average Belgian employee. France is now last in our study. It is now its turn to show its capacity to reform when the cost/quality ratio of French public expenditures is poor in comparison with other countries that have a similar social tradition.”