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US Taxes Low Compared to Other Countries

The US flag flies next to the Capitol in Washington, as Americans prepare for the deadline of the 2015 income tax season.

The US flag flies next to the Capitol in Washington, as Americans prepare for the deadline of the 2015 income tax season.

Taxpayers in America pay less in income tax than many Europeans, according to a Pew Research Center report.

Belgium has the highest income tax rate, at nearly 56 percent of income, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD.

Taxpayers in the U.S. pay less than 36 percent of their incomes into the national treasury. Taxes pay for services provided by the government. The U.S. ranks 25 of the 34 developed countries polled in the report.

An unmarried person with no children was used as an example in the report. In America, an unmarried person, with no children, making the average wage of $50,000 in 2014 paid 24.8 percent of their income in federal income tax and payroll taxes.

A similar person living in Belgium would pay 42.3 percent of their income. The average among the 39 countries in the poll was 27.3 percent income tax.

South Korea and Canada had two of the lowest tax rates. The tax rate in South Korea for a married couple with two children is between 10 percent and 20 percent. An unmarried person in Canada with two children has a tax rate below 10 percent.

The deadline to pay taxes in America is usually April 15. This year, the deadline is April 18.

American taxpayers complain that wealthy people and corporations pay too little tax, according to a Pew Research Center poll from 2015.

Americans pay tax to fund programs like Social Security and Medicaid, according to the Pew Research Center. Last year, American taxes paid for $888 billion in Social Security benefits. Social Security pays the elderly an income after they stop working.

The government also paid more than $546 billion in Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Those programs pay for health and medical care to people who cannot afford it, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

I’m Jim Dresbach. reported on this story. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

How much in income tax do you pay? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or visit our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

treasury n. the place where the money of a government is kept

tax raten. percentage at which an individual or corporation is taxed

payroll taxn. a tax that is paid by a company and that is based on the amount of money that the company spends paying all of its employees

deadlinen. a date or time when something must be finished: the last day, hour or minute that something will be accepted

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