Belgian workers celebrate on Friday their “Tax Liberation Day” – the day on which, in theory, they no longer pay taxes and therefore begin working for themselves, according to a study titled “The Tax Burden on Global Workers.”
Of the 34 countries covered in the study, Belgium has the third most heavily taxed workers. Only France and Austria tax their employees more.
Tax Liberation Day is celebrated earliest in South Africa (March 8), the United States (April 10) and Cyprus (April 15).
The “effective tax rate” (including VAT) for the average Belgian worker is now 53.5%, according to the study, compared to an average of 43.9% in the European Union. An employer in Belgium has to spend 2.08 euros for the average employee to have a net worth of 1 euro.
Compared to 2013, Belgian employees are “free” from taxes 24 days earlier and receive 4,800 euros more in net annual wages, the study shows.
However, according to l’Institut économique Molinari, the independent, non-profit research and education organisation that conducted the study, no progress has been made since 2019.
“As the coronavirus continues and inflation rises, it is time for the government to chart a new course,” said co-author James Rogers. “In other countries, wage earners pay less social security contributions and taxes, while in return they receive better health care, better education and better social services.”