Personal income tax in the European Union How much do you get to take home from your pay packet and how do your European colleagues fare?

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1 Personal income tax in the European Union How much do you get to take home from your pay packet and how do your European colleagues fare? 2012 Edition

2 Table of Contents Introduction 1 Highlights 2 Methodology 3 Overview of the national tax systems 5 Summary of high-level results 7 Scenario 1 7 Scenario 2 8 Average of scenario 1 and 2 9 Scenario 3 10 Scenario 4 11 Average of scenario 3 and 4 12 Detailed consideration of the results 13 Progressive vs. less progressive tax systems 13 Family tax reliefs 14 Flat tax rate 17 Employer social security charges 19 Electronic tax filing 20 Contact details 21

3 Introduction We are pleased to present the third edition of our annual report regarding personal income tax and social security burdens in member states of the European Union as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. With the history from previous years in this report we make a comparative analysis between particular countries, but also highlight trends or differing approaches taken by European governments to personal income taxes. The third edition of the survey discloses relatively few changes to the previous editions, especially to the report we published last year. One may say that European governments did not introduce many law changes in the area of personal taxes and social security affecting the potential net salary earned by individuals in Although market conditions influenced the wealth of many European citizens, to include cuts in the area of social spending, the increase in direct levies we pay to the fiscal systems out of our salaries seems to evolve slowly. In 2011, the most visible changes in the area of personal taxes were introduced in Greece (solidarity tax), Luxembourg (crisis tax however, it was abolished in 2012) and Hungary (in this case, in favour of taxpayers introducing a flat tax rate of 16% to so-called super gross income). Certainly, some countries introduced changes in indirect or other tax levies paid by individuals or corporations, however they are not subject to analysis in this report. Moreover, no one knows if the current situation will not change in future. Politicians declare about increasing fiscal charges especially for high earners as a handy tool when striving for power. In addition, some governments have already introduced changes affecting the level of personal taxes in 2012 (e.g. in Italy a solidarity tax was introduced), and some plan introducing tax increasing measures in the forthcoming tax years (for example, France, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Slovenia, Portugal). Will these attempts prove real? Will the changes be only temporary? How much will our net salary suffer from changes in the law apart from the market impact? Or, on the other hand, will some countries react to the economic crisis similar to Latvia (where the personal income tax rates will be decreased by 2015)? It would be risky to foretell such effects now. However, you may be sure that we will keep you posted and our report in the next year will reflect these facts. Steve Couch Partner Tax & Legal Department HRS CEE Leader Camiel van der Meij Partner Tax & Legal Department HRS Poland Leader Personal income tax in the European Union 1

4 Highlights In case of average salary earners the net salary, i.e. after deduction of personal income tax and employee social security contributions, received by residents of the surveyed countries (European Economic Area + Switzerland) is approximately 76% of gross remuneration. The combined burden of personal income tax and employee social security contributions constitutes on an average, approximately 24% of gross income. Countries with an average net salary higher than 76% (for average earners) are: Cyprus, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Malta, Ireland, Slovakia, Spain, Estonia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Iceland. This list includes most countries with flat personal income tax rates (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania and Bulgaria). However, residents of a few countries with progressive taxation can still enjoy average net salaries at a level comparable or even higher than the average net salary in countries with flat tax rates. For example Cyprus (91%). This rate is not only due to the level of tax burden but also due to the relatively low employee social security costs. Different results were achieved for more wealthy taxpayers (i.e. earning five times the given country s average salary). The average net salary received by this group of individuals amounts to approximately 63% of gross remuneration, where their tax burden is 29% and social security burden is 8% of the total gross income. Countries where the average net salary (as percentage of gross remuneration) in case of wealthy taxpayares is higher than 63% are: Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Poland, Malta, Romania, Latvia, Hungary and Spain. Again, the highest net salary (as percentage of gross remuneration) is seen in countries with a flat tax rate, i.e. Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Latvia and Hungary. 2 Personal income tax in the European Union

5 Methodology In terms of methodology, we think it is important to compare apples with apples! Therefore, we have opted to approach the task of net income comparisons, not on the basis of comparative analysis in pure currency terms, which is fraught with currency relativities, comparisons of cost of living and return on investment (what does the taxpayer receive in return for their payments?), but rather from the perspective of the percentage of income, based on the average salary for that particular state, which is retained by the employee (i.e. after deduction of personal income tax and employee social security contributions). We used very simple scenarios to make the comparisons clear and straightforward. Assumptions We looked at four scenarios, which, we believe, are representative. The assumptions underpinning all the scenarios are as follows: The individuals are tax residents in a given country; Their employer is a registered employer in that country; The employee s total annual employment income equals 12 times the average monthly salary in a given country in 2011 (the average salary is denominated in the local currency of the given country); The only source of income is employment; No tax reliefs (other than family-related tax reliefs, such as child relief and joint tax return) are taken into account (to ensure comparability of net income between countries) and Tax and social security rates binding in 2011 were used (for Switzerland, we used the tax rates binding in Geneva). Information regarding the given country s average salary and calculations of tax and social security burdens were provided to us by PwC firms in the respective countries. Personal income tax in the European Union 3

6 Scenarios In this report we compare four different scenarios. Scenario 1 This scenario relates to an individual who is single (no spouse or children) and earns the average annual salary. Scenario 2 This scenario relates to a married person whose spouse has no income. We also assumed two dependent children who have no income. We took into account family tax reliefs available (joint tax return and child relief) as well as personal allowances. The working individual earns the average annual salary. Scenario 3 This scenario relates to an individual who is single (no spouse or children) and earns five times the average annual salary. Scenario 4 This scenario relates to a married person whose spouse has no income. We also assumed two dependent children who have no income. We took into account family tax reliefs available (joint tax return and child relief) as well as personal allowances. The working individual earns five times the average annual salary. Average salaries 2011 The table to the right presents the average annual salaries for particular states (denominated or recalculated in euro [EUR]). Country Average annual gross salary (EUR) Austria ,00 Belgium ,00 Bulgaria 4 219,00 Cyprus ,00 The Czech Republic ,00 Denmark ,00 Estonia 9 708,00 Finland ,00 France ,00 Germany ,00 Greece ,00 Hungary 8 068,00 Iceland ,00 Ireland ,00 Italy ,00 Country Average annual gross salary (EUR) Latvia 7 859,00 Lithuania 7 289,00 Luxembourg ,00 Malta ,00 The Netherlands ,00 Norway ,00 Poland 9 198,00 Portugal ,00 Romania 5 616,00 Slovakia 9 180,00 Slovenia ,00 Spain ,00 Sweden ,00 Switzerland ,00 The UK ,00 Source: Data gathered by PwC in respective countries For countries whose national currency is not EUR, salaries were calculated by applying the exchange rate reported by Oanda.com as at 31 December Personal income tax in the European Union

7 Overview of the national tax systems Before we go into a detailed analysis of the impact of personal taxation and social security on the net income of employees, in our view, it is necessary to put our findings into a broader perspective. Personal income tax and social security are only a part of national taxation systems. Also, taxes as such are only an element of the gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, the total tax taken as a percentage of GDP and a breakdown of taxes should be considered at the very beginning to better understand the context. Thus, in our view, the tables below constitute the appropriate perspective for our inquiries. Breakdown of tax take by country in 2010 (percentage of total taxation) Percentage of particular taxes in total taxation (2010) Excise Other taxes Other Personal Corporate Other Social Social Social duties and on products taxes on income income direct contributions contributions contributions VAT consumption (incl. import productions taxes tax taxes employers employees self-employed taxes duties) Belgium 16,20 4,90 5,00 4,20 28,10 6,20 3,00 19,60 9,80 3,10 Bulgaria 33,70 18,50 1,20 2,00 10,50 7,00 1,30 16,50 7,30 2,00 Czech Republic 20,60 10,90 1,20 1,30 10,60 10,00 0,30 28,80 9,20 7,20 Denmark 20,70 7,00 3,40 4,30 51,10 5,80 5,80 0,10 2,00 0,00 Germany 19,10 6,70 2,30 1,60 22,00 5,80 1,70 17,80 16,60 6,30 Estonia 25,70 12,70 1,20 2,10 15,90 4,00 0,00 35,60 2,40 0,40 Ireland 22,90 9,20 4,00 5,30 27,00 9,10 1,80 11,30 8,80 0,70 Greece 23,20 10,50 5,20 0,80 14,00 7,70 3,50 16,30 13,10 5,70 Spain 17,20 7,10 4,50 4,30 23,10 5,80 2,00 27,00 6,10 5,60 France 16,50 5,10 4,00 9,90 17,80 4,40 3,60 26,60 9,60 3,00 Italy 14,70 4,80 6,90 7,00 27,70 5,50 1,60 21,60 5,70 4,30 Cyprus 25,80 9,80 2,50 5,70 11,60 17,40 2,10 17,00 6,90 1,20 Latvia 24,30 12,90 1,60 3,40 22,50 3,50 1,00 22,20 8,30 0,20 Lithuania 29,30 12,10 1,60 1,80 13,50 3,70 0,20 28,30 8,60 1,40 Luxembourg 16,40 8,90 2,10 4,50 21,20 15,50 2,20 12,60 13,40 3,20 Hungary 23,00 8,70 10,90 2,80 17,20 3,10 2,30 20,70 9,60 1,60 Malta 23,30 9,10 7,80 1,60 17,90 19,60 2,60 8,20 8,20 1,70 Netherlands 18,70 5,90 4,60 3,10 21,80 6,00 3,70 12,80 15,50 8,00 Austria 18,90 5,80 2,60 7,70 23,20 4,80 2,30 16,30 14,10 4,40 Poland 24,50 13,20 0,90 4,90 14,00 6,30 1,60 14,90 12,80 7,20 Portugal 24,80 8,90 6,70 2,70 17,70 9,00 1,60 16,40 11,20 1,00 Romania 28,60 12,30 1,60 2,70 12,30 8,50 1,90 20,70 10,90 0,60 Slovenia 22,40 11,30 2,10 2,70 15,10 5,00 1,80 15,40 20,70 4,00 Slovakia 22,60 10,40 1,60 2,60 8,20 8,90 2,00 24,40 11,20 8,10 Finland 20,10 8,30 3,00 0,60 29,70 6,00 2,50 21,10 6,20 2,50 Sweden 21,30 6,10 1,60 10,70 34,20 7,50 0,60 17,60 0,00 0,50 UK 18,50 9,80 3,30 5,40 28,30 8,70 7,40 10,80 7,40 0,50 Norway 18,60 5,10 3,40 1,30 23,50 23,50 2,20 13,80 7,50 1,30 Iceland 22,80 5,90 4,70 7,30 37,60 3,00 6,80 11,60 0,00 0,30 Source: Taxation trends in the European Union by European Commission (2012 Edition). Personal income tax in the European Union 5

8 The table on the previous page represents the overall balance of tax revenues, i.e. in countries where direct taxes are relatively high, indirect taxes imposed on goods, services and consumption or production are significantly lower and vice versa. Only some countries raise roughly equal shares of revenues from direct taxes, indirect taxes and social security contributions. It is particularly important that the level of direct taxes is generally low in new member states of the EU compared to the old member states. In these countries, the level of tax as a percentage of GDP is also low (refer to the analysis below). On the other hand, indirect taxes tend to be quite high. Later in the report, we have analysed other differences between these countries and the EU-15, especially related to flat taxation. Taxes and social security contributions as fraction of GDP Percentages 50% 40% 30% 10% 0% Denmark Sweden Belgium France Austria Italy Finland Norway Euro aera Germany Hungary Cyprus Netherlands Portugal Slovenia UK Luxembourg Island Source: Taxation trends in the European Union by European Commission (2012 Edition). Czech Rep. Malta Greece Poland Spain Bulgaria Estonia Ireland Lithuania Romania Latvia Slovakia Switzerland 6 Personal income tax in the European Union

9 Summary of high-level results High-level results are summarised below, simply focusing on the resulting net income as percentage of gross remuneration. Country net salary % Cyprus 91% Malta 83% Portugal 83% Ireland 81% Spain 79% Estonia 79% Bulgaria 78% Slovakia 78% Lithuania 78% Czech Republic 77% Greece 75% UK 75% France 72% Norway 72% Iceland 72% Finland 72% Poland 72% Romania 71% Luxembourg 70% Sweden 70% Italy 69% Latvia 69% Austria 68% Switzerland 68% Hungary 68% Slovenia 66% Denmark 66% The Netherlands 64% Germany 61% Belgium 59% Scenario 1 Single, earning the average salary In this scenario, the lowest average tax and social security burden is in Cyprus, where individuals keep 91% of their annual gross salary. The highest average tax burdens are in Belgium (net salary at a level of 59%) and Germany (net salary at a level of 61%). It is worth noting that some countries (e.g. Germany) offer a lot of tax reliefs or deductions, however, for the sake of comparison, they could not be taken into account in this report (apart from family tax reliefs refer to Scenario 2). There are some changes in results for 2010 and 2011; for example, in Luxembourg, the overall net income (as % of gross remuneration) earned by individuals in Scenario 1 is 4 percentage points lower in 2011 than in This decrease is clearly due to the implementation of a crisis contribution in Luxembourg in 2011 (which has been abolished with effect from 1 January 2012). The average net income for all surveyed countries in this scenario is 73% of gross remuneration. Scenario I tax and social security within gross salary 100% 80% 60% 0% Cyprus Malta Portugal Ireland Spain Estonia Bulgaria Slovakia Lithuania Czech Rep. Greece UK net tax SS employee France Norway Iceland Finland Poland Romania Luxembourg Sweden Italy Latvia Austria Switzerland Hungary Slovenia Denmark The Netherlands Germany Belgium Personal income tax in the European Union 7

10 High-level results are summarised below, simply focussing on the resulting net income. Country net salary % Czech Republic 94% Cyprus 91% Slovakia 90% Portugal 89% Ireland 88% Spain 87% Malta 87% Estonia 86% Luxembourg 85% Iceland 82% Latvia 81% Lithuania 80% Poland 78% Bulgaria 78% France 78% Hungary 77% Greece 77% Italy 76% UK 75% Norway 75% Slovenia 74% Romania 72% Finland 72% Denmark 71% Switzerland 71% Belgium 71% Austria 70% Sweden 70% Germany 69% The Netherlands 64% Scenario 2 Married individual with two dependent children, earning the average salary Having a family has a significant impact in many surveyed countries with noticeably higher net remuneration compared with the scenario of a single individual for example, in the Czech Republic (increase of 17 percentage points), Luxembourg (increase of 15 percentage points), Slovakia (increase of 12 percentage points) and Belgium (increase of 12 percentage points). Nonetheless, Belgium remains a relatively high-tax jurisdiction. The results of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland and France as well as Switzerland are interesting. In these countries, in case of individuals earning the average salary, family tax reliefs are higher than the tax. Consequently, they pay only social security premiums but no personal income tax on their earnings. Moreover, in Hungary, there is a difference of 8 percentage points between results in 2010 and 2011, which is caused by the introduction of family-friendly taxation. The average net income for all surveyed countries in this scenario is 79% of gross remuneration. Scenario II tax and social security within gross salary 100% 80% 60% 0% Czech Rep. Cyprus 8 Personal income tax in the European Union Slovakia Portugal Ireland Spain Malta Estonia Luxembourg Iceland Latvia Lithuania Poland Bulgaria France Hungary Greece net tax SS employee ska Italy UK Norway Slovenia Romania Finland Denmark Switzerland Belgium Austria Sweden Germany The Netherlands

11 Scenario 1 and 2 Average of two scenarios The table to the right presents the average results from the first two scenarios for particular countries. Country net salary % Cyprus 91% Portugal 86% Czech Republic 86% Malta 85% Ireland 84% Slovakia 84% Spain 83% Estonia 83% Lithuania 79% Bulgaria 78% Luxembourg 78% Iceland 77% Greece 76% Poland 75% France 75% Country net salary % UK 75% Latvia 75% Norway 73% Hungary 73% Italy 72% Finland 72% Romania 72% Slovenia 70% Sweden 70% Switzerland 70% Austria 69% Denmark 69% Germany 65% Belgium 65% The Netherlands 64% The average net salary received for all surveyed countries in Scenarios 1 and 2 is 76% of gross remuneration. Personal income tax in the European Union 9

12 High-level results are summarised below, simply focussing on the resulting net income Country net salary % Bulgaria 83% Lithuania 76% Estonia 76% Cyprus 74% Slovakia 74% Czech Republic 71% Romania 70% Malta 69% Poland 68% Latvia 67% Hungary 66% Spain 64% Greece 61% UK 61% Portugal 60% Switzerland 59% Luxembourg 59% Austria 59% Iceland 58% France 57% Norway 57% Germany 56% Ireland 54% Finland 52% The Netherlands 52% Italy 51% Denmark 51% Sweden 51% Slovenia 51% Belgium 44% Scenario 3 Single, earning five times the average salary The table shows that in most countries with a flat tax rate (Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania), the net remuneration (as a percentage of gross salary) is generally higher than that in countries with progressive taxation (Cyprus is the most noteworthy exception). The high results for Bulgaria reflect not only its low flat tax rate impact but also the fact that social security contributions are capped in this country. In Belgium, the tax and social security burden is higher than 50%, reflecting its progressive tax systems as well as the uncapped salary basis on which the social security contributions are withheld. Both elements affect especially those individuals with high incomes. In Hungary, the results are 14 percentage points higher than in 2010, which is due to the implementation of a 16% flat rate personal income tax. The average net income for all surveyed countries in this scenario is 62% of gross remuneration. Scenario III tax and social security within gross salary 100% 80% 60% 0% 10 Personal income tax in the European Union Bulgaria Lithuania Estonia Cyprus Slovakia Czech Rep. Romania Malta Poland Latvia Hungary Spain Greece UK Portugalia Switzerland Luxembourg net tax SS employee ska Austria Iceland France Norway Germany Ireland Finland The Netherlands Italy Denmark Sweden Slovenia Belgium

13 High-level results are summarised below, simply focussing on the resulting net income Country net salary % Bulgaria 83% Estonia 77% Lithuania 76% Slovakia 75% Poland 75% Czech Republic 74% Cyprus 74% Malta 72% Romania 70% Latvia 70% Hungary 68% Portugal 67% France 67% Spain 66% Luxembourg 64% Switzerland 63% Greece 61% UK 61% Iceland 60% Germany 60% Austria 59% Norway 57% Ireland 57% Slovenia 54% Finland 52% Denmark 52% The Netherlands 52% Italy 51% Sweden 51% Belgium 47% Scenario 4 Married individual with two dependent children, earning five times the average salary Surprisingly, when compared to Scenario 3, having a family does not have a great impact in this scenario. France, Portugal and Poland show the greatest increase in average net salary as percentage of gross remuneration (i.e. 10 percentage points for France, 7 percentage points for Portugal and 7 percentage points for Poland). Generally, the difference between Scenarios 4 and 3 is much less than the difference between Scenarios 1 and 2. This condition is evident when we take into account the average net income in all surveyed countries in Scenarios 1 (73%) and 2 (79%) a difference of 6 percentage points. In case of Scenarios 3 (62%) and 4 (64%), the difference is only 2 percentage points. Why does this difference between the scenarios exist? Family reliefs and joint tax returns have less impact in reducing tax burdens for high earners. The average net income for all surveyed countries in this scenario is 64% of gross remuneration. Scenario IV tax and social security within gross salary 100% 80% 60% 0% Bulgaria Estonia Lithuania Slovakia Poland Czech Rep. Cyprus Malta Romania Latvia Hungary Portugal France Spain Luxembourg Switzerland Greece a net tax SS employee UK Iceland Grrmany Austria Norway Ireland Slovenia Finland Denmark The Netherlands Italy Sweden Belgium Personal income tax in the European Union 11

14 Scenario 3 and 4 average of two scenarios The table to the right summarises the average results from the last two scenarios for particular countries. Country net salary % Bulgaria 83% Estonia 77% Lithuania 76% Slovakia 75% Cyprus 74% Czech Republic 72% Poland 71% Malta 70% Romania 70% Latvia 68% Hungary 67% Spain 65% Portugal 63% France 62% Luxembourg 61% Country net salary % Greece 61% Switzerland 61% UK 61% Iceland 59% Austria 59% Germany 58% Norway 57% Ireland 55% Finland 52% Slovenia 52% Denmark 52% The Netherlands 52% Italy 51% Sweden 51% Belgium 45% The average net salary received for all surveyed countries in Scenarios 3 and 4 is 63% of gross remuneration. 12 Personal income tax in the European Union

15 Detailed consideration of the results We now focus on a more detailed findings of the survey. This includes the impact of salary level on the tax and social security burden, family as a factor lowering the tax burden, a flat tax rate versus the more traditional progressive tax system and employer social security relative to gross earnings. Progressive vs. less progressive tax systems To compare the impact of higher salary levels on the net position of individuals, we compared Scenarios 1 and 3 (for single persons) as well as 2 and 4 (for married people with 2 children). The chart below shows a truly progressive personal income tax in countries like Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and Italy. For instance, in Ireland, in scenario 1 one takes home 81% of gross remuneration, however in scenario 3 only 54%. The difference is 27 percentage points. As you can see from the chart, even in countries with flat tax rates there is still some progression. This is due to personal allowances or family reliefs which have more impact on low earners than on high earners. The negative result for Bulgaria reflects the trend of taxation, which is relatively more favourable for high earners due to a cap on social security contributions. Differences Scenarios 1 & 3 30% 25% 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% Ireland Portugal Finland Sweden Italy Cyprus Slovenia Spain Norway Denmark France UK Malta Belgium Greece Iceland The Netherlands Luxembourg Austria Switzerland Czech Rep. Germany Poland Slovakia Estonia Latvia Hungary Lithuania Romania Bulgaria Personal income tax in the European Union 13

16 Differences Scenarios 2 & 4 35% 30% 25% 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% Ireland Italy Belgium Iceland Portugal Luxembourg Spain Slovenia Czech Rep. Finland Denmark Sweden Norway Cyprus Greece Malta Slovakia UK The Netherlands Austria Latvia France The chart above represents married people with 2 children. Hungary Estonia Germany Switzerland Poland Lithuania Romania Bulgaria The results are similar to those comparing Scenarios 1 and 3: a declining net income percentage associated with higher earnings, excluding Bulgaria. Family tax reliefs The expectation is that tax reliefs associated with families should result in lower tax burdens. We focussed on the two most common forms of family tax reliefs, i.e. joint tax return and child relief. As reflected in the table to the right, most countries (to include flat tax rate countries) appear to have some form of family tax support. Country Joint tax return Child relief Austria Belgium + + Bulgaria Cyprus Denmark Estonia + + Finland France + + Greece + + Spain + + The Netherlands Ireland + Iceland + + Lithuania + Luxembourg + + Country Joint tax return Child relief Latvia + Malta + + Germany + + Norway + + Poland + + Portugal + + Czech Republic + Romania + Slovakia + Slovenia + Switzerland + + Sweden Hungary + UK + Italy + 14 Personal income tax in the European Union

17 The table below compares Scenario 1 (single person with average salary) and Scenario 2 (married person with average salary and 2 children). Note: In some countries (e.g. in the Netherlands, Portugal, France and Luxembourg), joint tax returns may be filed by couples not officially married but just registered in a court (the forms of registration differ from country to country) or living together in the same place for a specified time. Moreover, in France and Belgium, same-sex couples may claim certain tax benefits. Differences Scenarios 1 & 2 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Czech Rep. Luxembourg Slovakia Belgium Latvia Iceland Hungary Slovenia Germany Spain Estonia Ireland Poland Portugal Italy France Denmark Malta Switzerland Norway Lithuania Greece Austria Romania Bulgaria Cyprus Finland The Netherlands Sweden UK The chart above shows that in the Czech Republic, family tax reliefs are most effective in lowering the tax burden. When there is no difference, the reason is that the countries have not introduced joint tax returns or child relief as tax benefits 1 (e.g. the UK, Sweden, Finland, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Bulgaria). Therefore, in these countries, the family does not represent a tax decreasing factor. 1 In some countries, e.g. in the UK, there are some other family/child benefits/tax credits, but these may be claimed separately and have nothing to do with the tax return. Personal income tax in the European Union 15

18 Differences Scenarios 3 & 4 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% France Portugal Poland Luxembourg Germany Switzerland Czech Rep. Slovenia Malta Belgium Ireland Latvia Spain Iceland Hungary Slovakia Estonia Denmark Norway Lithuania Greece Austria Bulgaria Cyprus Finland Italy Romania The chart above shows the differences resulting from higher income by comparing Scenarios 3 and 4. Sweden The Netherlands The chart shows that family tax reliefs are most effective in lowering the tax burden for higher earners in France. UK 16 Personal income tax in the European Union

19 Flat tax rate Currently, eight member states in the EU have a flat rate tax i.e. Estonia (21%), Latvia (25%), Lithuania (15%), the Czech Republic (15%), Slovakia (19%), Romania (16%), Bulgaria (10%) and Hungary (16% since 1 January 2011; however, it is applicable to super gross, which is gross increased by a fixed factor, especially for tax purposes). The charts below show the average tax and social security burden for the first two scenarios in these countries ( flat tax rate countries ) compared to countries taxing individuals according to the progressive scale ( progressive rate countries ). Flat tax countries (scenarios 1 & 2) 21% 79% Burden Net salary Progressive tax countries (scenarios 1 & 2) 25% 75% Burden Net salary The tax and social security burden is 4 percentage points lower in flat tax rate countries, which is a significant difference. Personal income tax in the European Union 17

20 The charts below show the average tax and social security burden for the last two scenarios in flat tax rate countries compared to progressive rate countries. Now, the differences are even more significant. Flat tax countries (scenarios 3 & 4) 26% 74% Burden Net salary Progressive tax countries (scenarios 3 & 4) 41% 59% Burden Net salary The comparison of high earners shows a difference of 15 percentage points between countries with flat tax rates and progressive scale. However, by looking at a country-by-country basis (refer to the charts on pages 9 and 12), it is clear that not all flat tax rate countries have the lowest tax/social security burdens. Clearly, the level of social security charges significantly influences the final net position. 18 Personal income tax in the European Union

21 Employer social security charges Employer social security contributions are a significant component of employment cost. The charts below represent the charges for Scenarios 1 and 2, and Scenarios 3 and 4, respectively. Employer social security costs relate only to income and not to the marital status of individuals. Employer contributions scenarios 1 & 2 50% 40% 30% 10% 0% France Slovakia Estonia Czech Rep. Belgium Sweden Austria Lithuania Spain Italy Greece Hungary Romania Latvia Portugal Finland Germany Poland Iceland Employer contributions scenarios 3 & 4 Bulgaria Netherlands Slovenia Norway Luxembourg UK Ireland Cyprus Switzerland Malta Denmark 50% 40% 30% 10% 0% France Estonia Czech Rep. Sweden Lithuania Hungary Belgium Romania Slovakia Latvia Italy Portugal Finland Greece Iceland Austria Slovenia Norway UK Poland Switzerland Ireland Bulgaria Spain Luxembourg Germany Cyprus Netherlands Malta Denmark Personal income tax in the European Union 19

22 The results seen in the charts on the previous page are similar, with France emerging as the most expensive jurisdiction, purely from a cost perspective, i.e. no consideration is given to the value of services received in return. In some cases, the charges are lower at higher income levels (i.e. as shown in Scenarios 3 and 4). This condition reflects that the charges are capped in some member states. Denmark stands out in both cases because the employee primarily pays the charges and the employer charges are minimal. Electronic tax filing The surveyed countries, except for Romania, provide the possibility of filing annual tax returns for salary income electronically. It shows progress towards a more user-friendly method of handling tax matters. 20 Personal income tax in the European Union

23 Contact details Steve Couch Partner PricewaterhouseCoopers Ceska republika, s.r.o Phone no.: Camiel van der Meij Partner Tax & Legal Department PricewaterhouseCoopers Sp. z.o.o. Phone no.: Joanna Narkiewicz-Tarłowska Senior Manager Tax & Legal Department PricewaterhouseCoopers Sp. z.o.o. Phone no.: Grzegorz Ogórek Manager Tax & Legal Department PricewaterhouseCoopers Sp. z.o.o. Phone no.: Mariusz Ferenc Senior Consultant Tax & Legal Department PricewaterhouseCoopers Sp. z.o.o. Phone no.:

24 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the companies associated in the PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL ), each member of which is a separate legal entity and does not act on behalf of PwCIL or other member firms.

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