The tax burden in Belgium continues increasing
Despite the fact that Belgium is one of the countries with the highest taxation in the world, the
small West European country continues increasing the tax burden on its citizens. In 2017, Belgium
collected taxes amounting to 47% of its gross domestic product (GDP). In 2018, the number was
Belgium got a silver medal for high taxation in the EU. The gold medal was taken by France which,
in 2018, collected taxes amounting to 48,4% of its GDP. Although Denmark decreased its tax
burden in 2018, it still ranks third amongst the EU countries with the highest tax rates.
As a result of the high taxes on the labour force, Belgian employees are considered to be the fifth most
expensive employees to hire in the EU. However, according to their net income, Belgian
employees rank nine in the EU. They take home only 1 euro from every 2,01 euros paid by their
Belgium has a high position not only in the EU rank list of high-tax countries but also in the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) list based on the tax burden
on married couples with two children. According to the OECD, an average married worker with
two children pays 37,3% of its income to the government in the form of tax, whereas the OECD
average is 26,6%. This ranks Belgium number 7 in the list.
Ireland, Romania, and Bulgaria are the countries with the lowest tax burden in the EU. The taxes
collected by Ireland amount to 23% of its GDP. Romania and Bulgaria collect 27,1% and 29,9%,
respectively. Bulgaria is particularly attractive for entrepreneurs as the Balkan country has flat
personal and corporate tax rates of just 10%. That is why many entrepreneurs from Belgium and
other high-tax EU countries choose to relocate to Bulgaria.
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