Who are the most taxed citizens in the world?

Governments all over the world impose taxes on their citizens for various reasons. Top among these is the provision of public services, funding social and economic solutions and creating market efficiencies. Each country differs from the others in regards to the level of taxes imposed, the tax regimes and the income levels exempted from taxation. We take a look at the world’s most taxed countries.

  1. Ireland

The country has relatively low-income tax rate for corporations and has thus attracted many multinationals to invest there. This is set at 12.5%. However, the country’s citizens do not enjoy such low tax rates and are currently charged a 48% income tax on income levels exceeding $40,696.

  1. Finland
wallup.net

It is the country whose teachers are paid more than any others in the entire world. Finland is famous for continuously improving its educational system over the years. This, however, comes at a cost for the Finnish taxpayer who has to part with 49.2% income tax for incomes over $87,222.

  1. United Kingdom
ASCOT, ENGLAND – JUNE 19: A general view of racegoers during Royal Ascot 2015 at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2015, in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

The land of the famous Premier League also happens to be among the countries with the highest taxes. The UK imposes a 50% tax rate for those earning more than $234,484. However, it also considers the low income-earners and does not tax those earning $14,000 and below.

  1. Japan

Japan’s capital has more millionaires than any other city in the whole world. This would perhaps help paint a picture of why it also makes the list of countries with the highest taxes. With an average income of $27,000 the country has imposes a 50% income tax.

  1. Austria

Austria’s population is little over 8 million. The German-speaking country ranks sixth on the highest taxed countries list. The citizens and corporations have to pay taxes totaling to 50% of the total income for all incomes above $74,442. It is also among the highest taxed countries in the European region.

  1. Belgium

Similar to Austria, the land of tasty chocolates is also the land of 50% income tax. The country’s population is slightly above 12 million citizens and the government has put the tax revenue to good use improving the country’s overall infrastructure. Belgium ranks alongside Austria and the United Kingdom as Europe’s top taxed countries.

  1. Netherlands
People celebrate the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander who succeeds his mother, Queen Beatrix, in Amsterdam’s Dam Square April 30, 2013. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated on Tuesday, handing over to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, who became the first King of the Netherlands in over 120 years. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs (NETHERLANDS – Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS) ORG XMIT: RSS39

The Dutch government has imposed a 52% income tax rate on its citizens. The country, popularly known for its numerous shipping ports and horticultural sector comes in at fourth, only topped by Denmark, Sweden, and Aruba. read more

read more

Donald Trump and his America First Agenda

When Trump got into office, he promised to make America great again. Recently, the president released the budget for the year 2018 and we take a look at this budget to see just how well the American people’s interests have been covered.

Trump and his administration have all emphasized heavily on public safety and national security both within and out of the country. One of the president’s major campaign promises was that he would build a border wall between USA and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. Well, apart from making the Mexicans pay, the rest of the plans seem to be progressing quite well, at least according to Trump’s 2018 fiscal budget. The budget has been made with much emphasis on the border wall, funding to solve violent crimes, defense funding, and immigration enforcement and reducing drug abuse. The key part of the budget and the one that really highlights the president’s America first agenda is that most of the money collected from taxpayers will be spent within the country.

Secondly, the budget seeks to see the national debt reduced significantly within the ten-year period. The republicans will perhaps pride themselves in this seeing as the previous administration almost doubled the country’s national debt. This was from a figure of $10.5 trillion in the year 2009 to $20 trillion in the year 2016 when Trump took office. The Trump administration aims to achieve this through reduced wasteful expenditures, creating a leaner workforce and putting in a place a less intrusive government.

The budget allocates more than 2.6 billion dollars on the country’s border security. This includes immigration enforcement, technology and infrastructural investments and general improvement on border patrol. The southern wall is among the top if not the top factor why most citizens voted Trump in and the fact that his budget places emphasis on this implies that the president is indeed working towards the America first agenda.

Trump also seeks to expand the country’s military which is the currently the smallest it has been since world war I. Most citizens feel that since enemy countries continue to expand and advance, America should similarly be doing so and increasing the military size is u there among the priorities. Generally, the budget looks to be protecting the American citizen and easing the tax burden at the same time. The president however faces criticisms from sections of the media and members of the Democratic Party. From the perspective of the fiscal budget however, Trump seems to be pretty much on the right path. read more

read more

The History of Tax Resistance in America

Tax payers have generally never quite enjoyed paying taxes. Tax resistance is very much alive today though probably not as much as it was during some time in history. Tax resistance is the taxpayers’ refusal to pay taxes because they are opposed to the government that imposes the taxes or are opposed to its overall tax policies. Governments however have a rather neat term for such activities -‘civil disobedience’. You will be pleased to know that the general dislike of tax regimes started a long time ago especially in America. We take a look at four famous tax resistances that happened in history.

Fries Rebellion (1799)

This one wasn’t named after the product but after the leader of the rebellion, John Fries. It was an uprising protesting against a property tax that had been imposed by the federal government. While anticipating for a war with France, the federal government decided to source for revenue by taxing all property that people owned. This included buildings, land and even slaves. Fries and other angry farmers marched to Bethlehem and forced the release of other resistors who had been captured.

Whiskey Rebellion (1791-1794)

It is also known as the whiskey insurrection. It was a tax resistance protest that took place during George Washington’s tenure as president. The tax in question was the whiskey tax that had been imposed by the federal government. It was aimed at raising funds to pay the debts that had risen during the war. The tax was to be applied to all types of distilled spirits. The problem however arose due to the fact that the American whiskey was the country’s most popular whiskey and was therefore seen as being targeted by the tax. The farmers whose produce was distilled into the whiskey started the resistance which came to be known as the whiskey rebellion.

The Boston Tea Party (1773)

You have probably heard of this one but perhaps never gave it much thought. Prior to the event, the British Parliament passed a bill known as the tea act, cleverly designed to prevent the fall of the East India Company. The bill lowered the company’s tea tax thus giving it an unfair advantage and giving it monopoly powers. Viewing this as tyranny, Samuel Adams and members of the sons of liberty raided three East India ships and tossed more than 340 cheats of tea into the ocean.

Shay’s rebellion (1786-1787)

This was more of a series of protests against local tax collections. The protests were mainly carried out by American farmers. The Shay rebellion was most felt in Massachusetts where farmers faced the largest risk of farm losses through poor harvests, economic depression and to top it off, the imposition of very high taxes. The protestors tried to capture a weapons arsenal unsuccessfully ending in the rebellion’s leaders fleeing to Vermont. The rebellion, while it never caused any serious instability to the country raise much required awareness among the political circles and contributed to the revision that was later done to the articles of confederation. read more

read more

Managing a Small Business and Uncle Sam

Regardless of what type of business you run, there are two main ways you can boost capacity: you can hire more people or you can buy the right machinery or equipment. Spending more on people is pretty straightforward-you simply put out an ad (online or offline), interview people, and hire them on. All these steps require money and count as business expenses. Saving money on taxes through increased headcount and personnel costs is also helped by the training costs of additional staff. Also, you can buy machinery or equipment that supplements or enhances your staff’s production. Eventually, you might want to go the whole nine yards and automate your production and reassign your staff to quality control. Machinery expenditures is no different from software expenditures. Saving money on taxes through software or machinery expenditures aren’t as easy as you think though.

Quick note on equipment outlays

You might think you will be saving money on taxes if you dump money on new machinery. Not so. The write-off value of the equipment you buy is calculated using a schedule. This schedule is called a depreciation schedule. You can’t simply write off the full amount of the machinery or equipment you bought. Usually, the write-off schedule spans several years. Saving money on taxes by buying items that are on a depreciation schedule might not help you reach your tax savings goals.

Besides hiring more warm bodies and investing in machinery, your business can also boost capacity by spending money on process enhancement systems like Six Sigma. This, of course, requires consultants. Consultants can cost quite a bit of money. Consulting fees are completely legitimate business expenses.

The problem with spending money on consultants is that too many business owners think their business is already benefiting by simply having a consultant coach them on what to do. This is not the case. Your consultant might come up with an awesome report but that report isn’t going to do your business much good if you don’t implement it. Don’t waste money on consultants by hiring them and then never getting around to implementing their recommendations. You won’t be taking your business to a higher level this way. Indeed, you’re just burning money if you do this.

Boosting quality with QA-specific outlays read more

read more

The Tax Man Cometh: Tax Management for Entrepreneurs

There are only two things that are certain in life: death and taxes. How many times have you heard that saying before? Chances are, you’ve heard that statement at least twice in your life. The reason people repeat it so often is because it is absolutely truth. Death and taxes are unavoidable. You have to deal with them. The good news is that taxes don’t have to surprise you or pack a massive and crippling punch. If you own a business, you can manage your business in such a way that you not only minimize your taxes but you also increase your business’ ability to to make more money. By pursuing a clear and focused strategy, you can run your business in a way that minimizes the taxman’s take while taking your company to a whole new other level. Keep the following in mind.

Begin the Year with Tax Management in Mind

If you want to save on taxes come tax time while working to take your business to a higher level, don’t expect this to happen automatically. Don’t expect this to happen all of a sudden. Least of all, don’t expect to get lucky. It takes serious planning to pull this off. Saving money on taxes doesn’t just happen. Left to themselves, tax authorities will try to saddle you with as much taxes as possible. Don’t be surprised. That is their job. There is, however, a lot you can do about this situation. You can plan your fiscal year with tax reduction in mind. At the start of the year, start with a solid plan. Read the points raised below and add them to your business operations and management plan for the coming year.

Aggressive Spending means substantial tax write-offs

The tax code is structured in such a way that the government only taxes what’s left after a company deducts its expenses from its revenues. So, the more expenses you have, the less adjusted income your company has. Your company is taxed based on what is left over. If you are serious about saving money on taxes, it is very important that you increase your expenses. This is the core of saving money on taxes while positioning your business for further revenue growth. The less left over, the less taxes you pay because tax authorities follow a graduated system. There is a minimal income level that doesn’t get taxed at all. There’s a higher income level that gets taxed and the rate goes up as your company’s income goes up. This keeps going up until you hit the maximum tax rate. The key to saving money on taxes is to make sure you have very little left over. After all, 32% of nothing is, you guessed it, nothing. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you don’t make any money. You still make money but you don’t make enough taxable income to get slapped with a high tax rate. read more

read more

Don’t Pay Full Price – Great AARP Travel Discounts

As an AARP member, you receive more than a discounted rate on your auto insurance and other insurance premiums. You can great AARP travel deals as well, simply by using your membership card when booking your travel, hotel, and other travel accommodations online. You’re busy managing your business, so any discount advice is helpful.

Constant discount options available
Whether you are planning the perfect Caribbean getaway, or simply want to rent a car and drive out of town for the weekend, there are always new destinations popping up, and Discounts available for AARP travel members. Recently, we booked a trip to Florida to visit the family. Using my membership card, we were able to book an all inclusive trip, for three travelers, saving several hundred dollars. Not only did we receive discounted airfare, we also received a discount rate for a hotel (nice hotel packages at Hilton properties), along with a rental car for the weekend.

Drive to your destination
If you don’t want to fly, or would like to visit a local destination, rental car discounts are also available to members. 30% off Budget car rentals and other major rental agencies are always promoting specials for AARP members. Whether you need a sedan, a minivan, or want a sports car for a weekend trip to Vegas there are several great deals and discounts to be found, as an AARP member.  If you get sick, they even have an AARP long-term care insurance premium discount.

Book through other sites 
Other sites also promote savings available to members. We book travel destinations through Expedia, Travelocity, and other travel sites. At checkout, we can enter our AARP membership card number, and receive discounted rates for flights. Currently, on Expedia, we found a $100 discount for new members to the AARP family, who were booking through the site for the first time. This and other discounts are always being promoted for members, allowing us to travel more, for far lower prices.

Being an AARP member is a great way to save on all kinds of items, and find the best AARP travel discounts, for flight, hotel, car rentals, and all-inclusive package deals. Not only can we travel locally, we can find great luxurious destinations, spa visits, and trips to international destinations, for a far lower price than the rates being charged for non-members. No matter where we travel or when we are planning a trip, we always visit the AARP site, to find out about current travel deals. We always save, and always book with top airlines, rental agencies, and hotels, for all our travels. read more

read more