France Top-Taxed Country in the EU, Ireland the Lowest

Yellow vest protesters walk down the famed Champs Elysees avenue to keep pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, for the 13th straight weekend of demonstrations, in Paris, France, on Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — France is the top-taxed country in the European Union and Ireland the lowest, according to the latest figures released on Wednesday by the bloc’s statistics office Eurostat.

The tax-to-GDP ratio of France, calculated on the sum of taxes and net social contributions, was 48.4% in 2018, putting it ahead of Belgium on 47.2% and Denmark on 45.9%.

The EU average was 40.3%.

According to Eurostat, Ireland imposed the lowest burden, with a ratio of 23%. 

Romania, at 27.1%, and Bulgaria, at 29.9%, were the next least-taxed.

France has held the top spot since 2015.

Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, had a tax-to-GDP ratio of 41.5%, which was pretty close to the average for the eurozone group of 19 EU members on 41.7%.

Eurostat noted that the rankings changed when each type of tax was looked at separately.

For income and wealth tax, for instance, Denmark stood out with a ratio of 28.9%, followed by Sweden and Belgium, whereas Romania, on 4.9%, and Lithuania and Bulgaria came bottom.

France was the champion in terms of social contributions, with a proportion of 18%, followed by Germany on 17.1%, while the lowest ratios were in Denmark, Sweden and Ireland.

© Agence France-Presse

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