Belgium – Crucify the Middle Class
On Saturday I was enjoying lunch with my son and came across an excellent piece in TRENDS, the Flemish magazine.
I had long suspected I was being crucified each month by the taxman. The amount I earn working 60 hours a week over 50% gets gobbled up in taxes. Indeed, if I were on the dole, I’d not be that much worse off. At least I know I am officially being crucified each month. And, if you are curious, I’d not recommend the feeling.
You can read it in Dutch here or you can read the google translated version below.
For numerous taxes Belgium in Europe medalist, or cycle at least in the group of European. Now back billions to be found, it will not change soon.SEE ALSO
Opinion: Triple exodus
“Rich Belgians pulling away by palaver about wealth tax ‘
The Eurostat figures leave little doubt: Belgium is rather a tax hell than a tax haven. For overall tax burden in relation to GDP brings Belgium to 43.9 percent of GDP a European bronze medal. Only Denmark (47.6%) and Sweden (45.8%) have a higher tax burden.
The federal government should soon be looking for at least 4.6 billion euros. The risk of a higher tax burden is large because the PS has won for additional taxes. Open VLD is radically opposed, like the employers.
Another round tax is detrimental to the purchasing power and competitiveness, and hampers economic growth, says the employers’ organization in the Voka. CEO Jo Libeer pulled last week, a shocking figure above: the Belgian companies pay 47 percent of their value to the state.
Yet it seems that balancing the budget for 2013 a combination of lower spending and taxes extra. An analysis of our tax system yet clear how heavy the toll is imposed by the government.
Burden on labor: silver
About one thing there is consensus: there is no money to get out of even higher taxes on labor. Belgium stands with labor amounting to 23.8 percent of GDP in fourth place in Europe. The implicit tax rate on labor _ that is the total tax on labor divided by the total amounts of wages _ 42.5 percent. Belgium obtains a silver medal, after Italy.
Taxes on capital: koppeloton
When the PS is told that a wealth tax is not a bad idea because capital is taxed only here. It is not. Belgium already has several capital taxes such as interest on savings accounts, and dividends are taxed at 25 percent. There is the additional contribution of 4 percent on income from movable property above 20,020 euros. The property tax on the property is a tax on capital.
Eurostat puts Belgium whatsoever in sixth place for taxes on capital. The implicit tax rate on capital is 29.5 percent, which is a large behind leaders France (37.2%).
Charges on consumption: the back of the pack
Can the burden not be shifted to consumption taxes? That share is in Belgium 24.7 percent of the total, along with France and Italy the lowest in Europe. It is true that the standard VAT rate of 21 percent is already high compared to neighboring countries. But the basis of the tax is small. There are plenty of reduced VAT rates (as of 6 percent), and certain activities are exempt from VAT. A solution could be to broaden the tax base by abolishing a number of exclusions. The additional VAT revenue would allow the burden on labor. The effect of the VAT increase would not be in the automatic wage indexation be implemented.
Environmental impact: tail of the pack
Maybe there is room for the environmental taxes to raise? In Belgium amounts to only 2.1 percent of GDP, which we number 22 in the EU ranking. In the Netherlands and Denmark the environmental taxes to 4 percent of GDP. One problem with environmental taxes is that they somehow be shifted to other actors. Companies can environmental taxes in their prices and count as the end user pays the piper. (AM)