And The Award for the Most Tax-Oppressive Developed Country in the OECD Goes to...

Via Glenn Reynolds via TaxProf Blog via Cato, from the OECD comes this ranking of "tax oppressiveness." The higher the ranking, the more oppressive the jurisdiction. Switzerland and Luxembourg are 30 and 29. 

The tax oppression index is based on 18 representative criteria measuring fiscal attractiveness, public governance and financial privacy in the 30 member states of the OECD.

  1. Italy
  2. Turkey
  3. Poland
  4. Mexico
  5. Germany
  6. Netherlands
  7. Belgium
  8. Hungary
  9. France
  10. Greece
  11. United Kingdon
  12. United States

Whole study here.

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  • ||

    So, Germany, France and the U.K., with all the socialised trimmings, are better than the U.S.?
    hmmmm.

  • ||

    We can....nay....must do better than 12th!

  • ||

    CATO link is bugged

    Here is the real link which gives a better run down of the study's criteria:

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2009/06/26/tax-oppression-index-ranks-america-in-bottom-half-of-industrialized-nations/

  • ||

    bb

    The higher the ranking, the more oppressive the jurisdiction.



    In other words, this is a contest no one should want to win.

    However, Canada works for your purposes since at 27th it appears to lead the US.

  • Seward||

    Isaac,

    Canada is less centralized than the U.S., more "federalist" in other words, so that might partly explain the lower tax oppressiveness.

  • Seward||

    Isaac,

    Of course, Germany is even more decentralized in many ways (I mean, their federal bureaucracy is almost non-existant) than either Canada or the U.S.

  • ||

    IB, thanks. My brain, or whatever occupies my brain case, said to me that 30 is higher than 1 so there are 11 better than the U.S.


    Apologies to all for my brain-fart.

  • ||

    Karen Bass tells me that we would not be near the bottom of this list and be at the top if not for the terrorism of right wing talk radio. Apparently, Italy knows how to deal with its terrorists.

  • ||

    "Of course, Germany is even more decentralized in many ways (I mean, their federal bureaucracy is almost non-existant) than either Canada or the U.S."

    Germany had a wonderful federal system until Hilter whacked it. I guess it has been rebuilt?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Since when is Mexico "developed"?

  • Xeones||

    Where does Somalia rank?

  • ||

    Thanks for the early Godwin, John. I suppose you couldn't resist.

  • DHS Thinks I\'m a Terrorist||

    Perhaps I should move to Hondurus.

  • ||

    Canada should not be on this list. Only real countries should be included.

  • ||

    Forgive my ignorance EPI, but what the hell is a Godwin?

  • ||

  • Seward||

    John,

    Yeah, it was rebuilt. Basically there are something a few thousand federal bureaucrats in Germany. Most of federal and state law to the best of my knowledge is enforced, etc. by state bureaucrats there. It would be as if the EPA was mostly staffed by a state agencies.

    Xeones,

    It isn't an OECD country. It is doing better than it did when it had a centralized government though.

  • ||

    Another criteria was public debt as a % of GDP. Canada, for all its faults, has been paying off debt and balancing budgets.

  • ||

    Are you serious, John? Hier.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Godwin? I think you malign John. He's referring to Hitler only in the historical benchmark sense--i.e., Germany had a robust federalist system prior to 1933.

    Godwin would be attacking anti-federalism by saying that Hitler hated federalism, too.

  • tarran||

    John,

    Godwin's law states that as the length of an argument on the Internet grows longer, the probability of one side accusing the other of being like the Nazi's approaches 1.

    When this law was first popularized it led people to the following custom: when one side accuses the other of being Nazi's the argument is over and the side that leveled the accusation has lost. This was called Godwinning the thread.

    You didn't actually godwin anything. There is no hyperbole in mentioning the Nazis when discussing 20th century German history.

  • ||

    Epi

    I'm not sure it's a Godwin if you happen to mention Hitler in a historical context.

    I thought it was more about saying someone or something was like Hitler.

    But maybe I'm taking this all too seriously.

  • ||

    There ya go, tarran agrees with me. :)

  • Mike M.||

    It's good to be in the Land of the Free.

  • tarran||

    Oh and Episiarch, Pro Libertate, I actually write my posts insted of quickly dashing off a link to other people's work.

    So there! :P

  • Mr. Hilter||

    Ich glaube nicht, dass er Godwin, entweder.

  • Seward||

    tarran,

    I wonder why no one ever gets accused of being like Stalin?

  • ||

    Godwin would be attacking anti-federalism by saying that Hitler hated federalism, too.




    But Hitler really did hate Federalism. :)

  • ||

    I just forgot what that was Epi. And the other posters are right. I didn't accuse anyone of being a Nazi. I only pointed out that Hitler destroyed the German federal system. That is not an example of Godwin's law.

  • ||

    tarran, you're worse than Hitler.

  • ||

    You know who else wrote his own posts?

    Hitler.

  • ||

    Epi, just in general, you're worse than Hitler.

    (OK, I confess: I think "You're Worse Than Hitler" would be an awesome t-shirt slogan. It would be like pre-emptively Godwinning the whole damn world.)

  • kinnath||

    I Hilter had survived the war and then went on to create the intertubes, we'd need a different verb that Godwinned.

  • Adolf Hitler||

    I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work!

  • ||

    *sputters incoherently*

    Damn you, Episiarch!

  • ||

    Does Mike get a royalty every time any mentions Hitler in a pejorative sense about someone or something else?

  • ||

    "If he opens his big mouth again...it's lampshade time!"

  • Seward||

    Wow, this is quickly devolving. Might be a new record. :)

  • ||

    Sweden seven spots ahead of the US at #19? How can that be. Canada #27? What does that even mean? There must be some very advanced accounting going into these rankings.

  • Xeones||

    Mike Godwin is worse than Hitler. There, i said it.

  • ||

    "Well it's the North Minehead by-election. Mr Xones' standing as the National Bocialist candidate. He's got wonderful plans for Minehead."

  • ||

    Even mentioning Hitler makes one worse than Hitler. Right Episiarch?

  • ||

    Warren, Canada has a simpler income tax code and a lower top marginal rate (29% IIRC). The low income tax rate is somewhat offset by the GST (which is at 7 or 8%, I believe).

    I don't know how Sweden makes it but I do know the top marginal rate has been slashed from the 105% that pissed Igmar Bergman off so badly. Even Swedes get tired of Swedish levels of taxation.

  • Obama||

    My people, please relax. It is misfortune my predecessors only got us to number twelve in the oppression index. By the end of my first term, I promise I will get us to number one. U-S-A! Number one!

  • ||

    It would be clearer if i had written;

    "The benefit of the low income tax rate is somewhat offset..."

  • MNG||

    This kind of thing is always wonderful and imo incredibly undercutting of much libertarian rhetoric. According to such rhetoric Luxembourg should be some kind of stagnant, tyrannical hell on earth.

    Of course, that's not the case. It kicks our ass in GDP per capita and other indicators.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/LU.html

  • ||

    Even mentioning Hitler makes one worse than Hitler. Right Episiarch?

    John, you're worse than Michael Bay.

  • Xeones||

    John, you're worse than Michael Bay.

    Oh shit, dude.

  • alan||

    Seward | June 30, 2009, 2:48pm | #
    tarran,

    I wonder why no one ever gets accused of being like Stalin?


    Being a commie mean never having to say you are sorry.

  • ||

    That's right, bitches, I said it. Thread OVER.

  • Wade||

    "I wonder why no one ever gets accused of being like Stalin?"

    Seward, See the article below about Michael Jackson.

  • alan||

    Fuck. What is wrong with my 's's today?

    sssssssssssssss -- there. That will cover any plural forms I miss for the rest of the week.

  • ||

    This kind of thing is always wonderful and imo incredibly undercutting of much libertarian rhetoric. According to such rhetoric Luxembourg should be some kind of stagnant, tyrannical hell on earth.

    MNG, please recognize that 30 is the most libertarian and 1 is the least, and reconsider your world view.

  • alan||

    This kind of thing is always wonderful and imo incredibly undercutting of much libertarian rhetoric. According to such rhetoric Luxembourg should be some kind of stagnant, tyrannical hell on earth.

    [citation needed -- or, at least a fucking supportive argument]

  • Xeones||

    MNG, please recognize that 30 is the most libertarian and 1 is the least, and reconsider your world view.

    Haw haw!

    MNG is worse than if Hitler and Michael Bay had a baby.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    An arrest warrant has been issued for Michael Bay. The crime? Raping my childhood.

  • Peter||

    Hitler taxed worse than even Obama will have to, he took everyone's jews away!

  • ||

    "Isaac Bartram | June 30, 2009, 3:11pm | #

    "Warren, Canada has a simpler income tax code and a lower top marginal rate (29% IIRC). The low income tax rate is somewhat offset by the GST (which is at 7 or 8%, I believe)."


    The 29% top marginal tax rate is only the federal portion. Provincial income taxes bring the total up substantially. (e.g. my combined marginal tax rate in Ontario is 46.4%). Plus, the threshold is set much lower... anyone earning over ~$120k finds themselves in the top tax bracket.

    The GST has recently been lowered from 7% to 5%, but most provinces have their own sales taxes as well (8% in Ontario).

    Canada's hardly a tax haven.

  • ||

    MNG | June 30, 2009, 3:14pm | #

    This kind of thing is always wonderful and imo incredibly undercutting of much libertarian rhetoric. According to such rhetoric Luxembourg should be some kind of stagnant, tyrannical hell on earth.

    Of course, that's not the case. It kicks our ass in GDP per capita and other indicators.


    I'm not sure what your point is, MNG - please do expound. Luxemborg wasn't on the list - probably because they are too small. The fact that they are small and are a tax haven drawing many times more capital per capita, which they use to fund a generous welfare state. They are also culturally and ethnically homogeneous which makes welfare easy to administrate "fairly" thus disguising the inherent unfairness of such a system in the assumptions that members of a clan are wont to extend each other.

  • ||

    Obviously, Michael Bay can't be as bad as Hitler, being only a simple movie director and not having slaughtered millions. . .yet.

    However, if Michael Bay had been the leader of Germany during the 30s and 40s, I'm confident he'd have been worse.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    domo! Luxembourg was on the list! It was eighteen spots less tax oppressive than the United States.

  • ||

    The GST has recently been lowered from 7% to 5%, but most provinces have their own sales taxes as well (8% in Ontario).

    Canada's hardly a tax haven.



    I suspect that this study may only have considered central goverments.

    And thanks for the info on the GST. I'm quite aware of the provincial income and sales taxes having had occasion to pay both. IIRC, except in Quebec, it's a percentage of your federal tax obligation and collect by Revenue Canada and disbursed from there to the provinces.

  • ||

    Obviously, Michael Bay can't be as bad as Hitler

    O Rly? He's slaughtered millions...of tastefulnesses. That doesn't make any sense, but I don't have to--it's Michael Bay, after all.

    "Michael Bay gets to keep making movies and Cartman gets his own theme park; there is no God."

  • ||

    And he'll be allowed to continue inflicting his harm on our synapses due to the boatloads of money his latest crap endeavor is making. What's wrong with kids today?

  • ||

    GDP per capita is a proxy for overall economic success, but as liberals are fond of pointing out, distribution matters too. The US is an incredibly diverse set of communities of widely varying economic potential, geography, cultural norms, access to capital/communication/transportation etc. We have a lot of poverty, and disadvantaged people - both geographically, and culturally. We have these enclaves "bringing down our average" in ways that most socialized european contries cant imagine, yet we still manage to be in the top 5-10 in RGDP/capita every year - only losing to small, homogeneous countries (luxembourg, singapore, sweden) which often rely on natural resource extraction for their spot on the list (qatar, brunei, kuwait). To be sure, the US is blessed with natural resourcesl, but we import most of ours. In fact, our consumption of those resources, and the incredible way that we generate wealth based off their use is WHY these countries have such a high standard of living - so I'm going to go ahead and give the US credit for that as well.

  • ||

    TAO - didn't go to the source link, just assumed. but thanks for pointing out, it undercuts MNG's point as well, if there weren't enough other factors...

  • ||

    I'm just waiting until I can move into the local Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong franchulate. I hear security is great.

  • alan||

    From wikipedia:
    During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Services, especially banking and other financial exports, account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourg is the world's second largest investment fund center (after the USA), the most important private banking center in the Eurozone and Europe's leading center for reinsurance companies. Moreover, the Luxembourgish government has tried to attract internet start-ups. Skype, Jajah and eBay are only a few of the many internet companies that have shifted their local or global headquarters to Luxembourg.

    That is what being a tax haven can do for ya.

    Also, anyone on this board ever tossed out the idea the US is a Libertopia? Where on earth does one get such a stupid notion.

  • ||

    "Michael Bay gets to keep making movies and Cartman gets his own theme park; there is no God."


    Episiarch, it is not Michael Bay's fault you have cronic infected hemeroids. It is Jerry Bruckheimer's fault.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Luxembourg is my "oh shit gotta run" country. Of course, I should get my passport first...

  • ||

    It is Jerry Bruckheimer's fault.

    No, it's Joel Silver's, because Richard K. Morgan has optioned Altered Carbon to him, and I dread the results. It'll probably star Will Smith. Though to Silver's credit he has produced some good shit.

  • ||

    But Hitler really did hate Federalism. :)

    What?!?!

    His other trespasses may be forgiven but to hate federalism!!!

    Hitler you go to far!

  • ||

    Episiarch, you can only dream it will star Will Smith. That role has Nick Cage written all over it.

  • ||

    Episiarch, you can only dream it will star Will Smith. That role has Nick Cage written all over it.

    HOW'D IT GET BURNED?!? HOW'D IT GET BURNED?!?!?!?

  • ||

    TAO, you may consider a country with no extradition treaty. Here is a list to get you started:

    Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bophuthatswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China (People's Republic of China), Ciskei, The Comors, Cote d' Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea (South), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Maldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Philippines, Principe and San Tome, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi
    Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zaire, and Zimbabwe.


    also add:

    Andorra, Angola, Bantu Homelands, Bhutan,
    Bosnia, Cambodia, Ciskei, Cuba, Iran, Korea (North), Libya, Maldives, Serbia, Somalia, Taiwan, Transkei, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.


    Though these don't have dimplomatic relations. My fav is probably vietnam - most capitalist country I've ever visited, and the noodles are amazing.

  • ||

    We have these enclaves "bringing down our average" in ways that most socialized european contries cant imagine

    I suppose it might be tough for a Frenchmen to drive through the suburbs of Paris as the annual summer burning of cars might make the trip a difficult one.

  • ||

    oh, and south korea is probably a swingin' choice too, if that status is still accurate. make sure you have enough dough to buy citizenship, though...

  • stuartl||

    Given the amount of tax cheating that goes on in Italy, there should be an asterisk next to it's #1.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Kuwait doesn't have an extradition treaty? Man, I did not know that. I wonder how many bored and tempted Soldiers there are who would love to just melt into Kuwait City? (Of course, the booze-free nature of the country doesn't help, but still).

    In seriousness, if I had to pick from the list, I suppose it would be either Russia or China.

  • stuartl||

    The 29% top marginal tax rate is only the federal portion. Provincial income taxes bring the total up substantially. (e.g. my combined marginal tax rate in Ontario is 46.4%).
    ...
    Canada's hardly a tax haven.


    I don't time to read the study now, but if it does not include all taxes it seems to be fairly useless. While I suppose it is better for my state to take my money than the feds, someone is still taking my money.

  • ||

    The Italians make up for being #1 by not bothering to pay their taxes.

  • ||

    joshua corning,

    You are right to point out the north african ghettos. On the whole, however, france has lower inequality than the US, and is still more homogeneous in terms of language, race, culture, and geography than the US is. The fact that their poor burn cars as well as suck up welfare (while ours just suck up welfare) doesn't speak to that.

  • Xeones||

    In seriousness, if I had to pick from the list, I suppose it would be either Russia or China.

    In Putinist Russia, optimism is angry at YOU!

    I'm shocked the US doesn't have a treaty with the Philippines, though i guess part of Cryptonomicon makes more sense now.

  • ||

    joshua, Frenchmen don't drive through those suburbs of Paris and the people who live in those suburbs don't go to other parts of town much either.

    Something like in a lot of American cities.

    Would've thought?

  • ||

    ...only losing to small, homogeneous countries (luxembourg, singapore, sweden)...

    You should change that to "small countries (Luxembourg, Singapore) or homogeneous countries (Sweden)".

    Calling Singapore homogeneous is laughable. But Luxembourg as well is fantastically heterogeneous. It has the highest number of migrants per capita of any European country, fully 60% of its workforce is foreign or cross-border, and 13% of its population is Portuguese.

    Given that Luxembourg consistently far outclasses the other western nations in GDP per capita, it is excellent evidence that open economies and free migration are extremely beneficial.

  • ||

    The Italians make up for being #1 by not bothering to pay their taxes.



    Tax evasion is something of a national pastime.

    And nobody even tries to hide it either.

  • ||

    In spite of my 4:16 post I agree with domoarrigato at 4:12.

  • Xeones||

    Given that Luxembourg consistently far outclasses the other western nations in GDP per capita, it is excellent evidence that open economies and free migration are extremely beneficial.

    What the hell, are you TRYING to summon LoneWacko?!?

  • ||

    MikeP,

    Great points, thank you for informing me. I suppose in luxembourgs case, it's status as a tax haven, and ability to attract migrants on favorable terms is key. Large countries can never look at places like Lux for policy advice though - the stuff that works at that scale simply doesn't when you have 300mm people.

    The fact is that the US is the only country close to it's size to support such a broadly high standard of living, the socialized countries of europe pay for their safety net with 1-2% of GDP growth potential. MNG would like to paint socialized countries as wealthy and prosperous - but he conveniently ignores the facts and circumstances that each of the countries ahead of us on the list have that let them achieve it. you can go down the GDP list, and check it off:

    small tax haven
    medium sized homogeneous
    natural resource extractor

    usually #2 will have some combination of 1 and 3 thrown in. Social welfare in these countries manages to avoid collapse because:

    they can afford to buy it with their wealthy investors money
    no one really cheats or loafs because of close social ties
    they have to to pacify the masses to retain their grip on power

    Respectively

  • ||

    Have Nick Coppola and Will Smith every been in a film together? I see some sort of buddy flick, directed by Michael Bay. One in which Nick sports some sort of weird doo, and Will Smith plays a cocky, street-smart guy with a heart of gold.

  • EJM||

    Since when is Mexico "developed"?

    Mexico's been an OECD member since 1994--a couple of years before South Korea and the richer Eastern European countries were admitted. (Personally, I've always wondered why Brazil isn't yet a member.)

  • ||

    I suppose in luxembourgs case, it's status as a tax haven, and ability to attract migrants on favorable terms is key.

    I could tell you who else thought Luxembourg was key, but I don't want to Godwin the thread.

  • ||

    too late, MikeP - go right ahead ;)

  • ||

    You guys totally missed on the choices from DOmos list. Indonesia is easily the top choice. It is a pretty moderate muslim country and Bali totally kicks ass. That would be my first choice. After that, I would take the Heshimite Kingdom of Boredom. Aman isn't too bad of a city. After that, I guess I would take my chances in Russia or South Korea.

  • ||

    WE ARE LUXEMBOURG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. DEATH IS IRRELEVANT. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED.

  • ||

    "Have Nick Coppola and Will Smith every been in a film together? I see some sort of buddy flick, directed by Michael Bay. One in which Nick sports some sort of weird doo, and Will Smith plays a cocky, street-smart guy with a heart of gold."


    That is a great idea. But it needs to be a remake of a classic movie that Hollywood has no business remaking. How about a hip modern remake of "In the Heat of the Night" with Nick Cage as Rod Stieger and Will Smith as Sidney Poitier? Nick Cage plays old school small town southern cop trying to solve a murder mystery with the help of street smart hip Philadelphia detective Will Smith. That would be such a steaming pile of crap, I am really surprised it hasn't been made.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I'm picturing another Rush Hour, where Will Smith plays a Chris-Tucker like character and Cage roundhouse kicks little girls in the face a la The Wicker Man.

  • MNG||

    Canada has a better tax burden than the U.S.? That can't be correct, can it?

  • ||

    Nick Cage as Captain Renault; Will Smith as Rick Blaine.

  • ||

    "Nick Cage as Captain Renault; Will Smith as Rick Blaine."


    OMG Pro that is even worse than my idea. To top it off, Madona has been wanting to remake Casablanca for years. She can be Ingrid Bergman.

    The horror.

  • ||

    Italy looks bad at first, but consider that according to In What Explains Tax Evasion: An Empirical Assessment Based on European Data (PDF), a paper repared for the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies by Edward Christie and Mario Holzner, the following are the tax compliance rates for developed Western European countries:

    Austria: 74.80%
    Belgium: 70.15%
    France: 75.38%
    Germany; 67.72%
    Italy: 62.49%***
    Netherlands: 72.84%
    Portugal: 68.09%
    United Kingdom: 77.97%

    The latest income tax compliance figures for the United States, released by the Internal Revenue Service, put compliance with the tax code (PDF) at about 84%.

    Italy looks a little better now. HEROIC!

  • MNG||

    It's been such a crappy summer movie season...

  • MNG||

    It's hard to believe S. Korea does not have an extradition agreement with us.

  • ||

    It's been such a crappy summer movie season...

    No kidding

  • robc||

    MNG,

    Canada has a better tax burden than the U.S.? That can't be correct, can it?


    Is reading that hard?

    First you choke the list order, making the counterargument yourself, then you failed to read the many posts pointing out this is only central government and doesnt include the provincial taxation.

    RIF!!

  • ||

    Canada has a better tax burden than the U.S.? That can't be correct, can it?



    MNG, see:

    Isaac Bartram | June 30, 2009, 3:11pm

    Russ R. | June 30, 2009, 3:26pm

    and

    Isaac Bartram | June 30, 2009, 3:42pm

  • ||

    Ben Affleck as Victor Laszlo; Marky Mark as Major Strasser; Ashton Kutcher as Ugarte; Orlando Bloom as Signor Ferrari; Matthew McCoughney as Sam.

    And Paris Hilton as Ilsa Lund.

  • robc||

    Pro Lib,

    Im actually afraid that you arent kidding.

  • ||

    They're still fighting over the director: McG or Michael Bay.

  • ||

    It's been such a crappy summer movie season...

    Anyone seen Hurt Locker or Public Enemies yet?

  • ||

    Pro,

    I am thinking George Clooney as Rick and Orlando Bloom as the Victor Lazlo disident. Only I set it in Aman Jordan before the start of the Iraq war. Instead of running from Nazis, Lazlo is running from Haliburton and the CIA because he knows that the war is based on a lie. At the end of the movie he gets on a plane to go to the US and write for the New York Times. Clooney tells him that he knows of a state Senator in Illinois who is going to someday change things and that Lazlo should work for him when he gets to America. As Lazlo's plane takes off the opening night of the war, Rick and the police captain discuss how Iraq is going to have a resistance and he knows some bomb makers in Bahgdad that will need supplies. And thus begins a beautiful friendship. And the director has to be Roman Polanski. There would definitely be a scene where the evil Haliburton killer photographs topless, drugs and rapes a 13 year old girl.

    I can't believe Hollywood hasn't made it yet.

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