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
Highest income tax rate: 48%
Average 2010 income: $50,400
Ireland’s tax rate of 48 percent is much higher than the 40 percent average in Northern Europe. In fact, Northern Europe is the region with the world's second-highest personal income tax rates, according to KPMG.
The Irish government, which has been trying to bridge a big fiscal gap after the financial crisis, raised the top rate by one percentage point for a third-consecutive year in 2011.
The country’s top marginal rate kicks in at about $43,900 of taxable income. Citizens also have to pay an additional social security tax of 4 percent. The government increased tax rates that apply to gifts and inheritances as well as capital gains from 25 percent to 30 percent in December. While income taxes are high, the country has among the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe of just 12.5 percent.
As part of the latest