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1 Kyle Pomerleau & Kevin Adams, A Comparison of the Tax Burden on Labor in the OECD, 2016 1 (2016)

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No. 522
August 9, 2016

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A Comparison of the Tax Burden on

Labor in the OECD, 2016

By  Kyle   Pomerleau           Kevin  Adams
    Economist                  Research Associate

Key   Findings

    Average wage  earners in the United States face two major taxes: the individual
    income tax and the payroll tax (levied on both the employee and the employer).

    Although a little more than half of a U.S. worker's payroll tax burden is paid by his
    employer, the worker ultimately pays this tax through lower take-home pay.

    The total tax burden faced by average wage earners in the United States is 31.7
    percent of their pretax earnings, paying $17,558 in taxes in 2015, with $9,167 in
    individual income taxes and $8,391 in payroll taxes.

    The total tax burden faced by average U.S. workers is the 24th highest in the
    OECD,  below the 34-country average of 35.9 percent.

    Many  OECD  countries have high payroll taxes, such as France, which places the
    highest payroll tax burden of 37.7 percent on average workers.

    In some countries, over 50 percent of workers' total tax burden is paid by their

    The tax burden for families in OECD countries is 25.3 percent lower on average
    than the tax burden on single, childless workers.

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