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Countries With the Highest Tax Rates

Rising public debt and elections in Europe and the U.S. have once again raised the debate over taxes.

Europe’s debt crisis is forcing some countries to raise taxes. Spain, for example, raised its personal tax rate by 2 percentage points to 45 percent last year and France’s newly elected Socialist Party is also proposing hiking taxes on the rich.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama has proposed the Buffett rule, aimed at ensuring households that earn more than $1 million a year pay more in taxes proportionally than middle-class families. Republicans have opposed the tax, calling it a “gimmick” and arguing it will hurt growth.

But there are many countries with top tax rates higher than the U.S.'s 35 percent. In fact, the U.S. is ranked 23rd in terms of the top marginal tax rate among 96 countries surveyed by KPMG in 2011.

So which 10 countries have the highest rates, according to the accounting firm? Click ahead to find out.

By Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani
Posted May 7, 2012

Photo: Steve Cole | Photodic | Getty Images