Fergus Mcghee

Why Britain will have the world’s 4th largest top tax rate

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Anyone arriving at Heathrow airport will see those HSBC adverts comparing the top rate of tax in various countries. The message is that HSBC knows the world, but the advert works because that airport is used by the world's rich to hop between country to country, wondering where is best to live, work and declare taxes. The top rate of tax is a powerful symbol, as it tells what that particular country's attitude to wealth creators. After April next year, only three countries on the planet will have greater top rates of tax than Britain - Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. Here is a selected list of the rest, as compiled last year by KPMG:

  Top tax rate
Denmark 59
Sweden 55
Netherlands 52
UK (From Apr10) 50
Austria 50
JAPAN 50
Norway 47.8
Australia 45
China 45
GERMANY 45
ITALY 43
Spain 43
Ireland 41
Slovenia 41
FRANCE 40
Switzerland 40
New Zealand 39
Luxembourg 38
Mexico 38
Thailand 37
Hungary 36
UNITED STATES 35
India 30
CANADA 29
WORLD AVERAGE 28.8
Guernsey 20
Jersey 20
Isle of Man 18
Hong Kong 16
Bahrain 0
Bermuda 0
Cayman Islands 0
Kuwait 0
Oman 0
Qatar 0
Saudi Arabia 0
UAE 0