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Slovaks pay lowest income tax in EU but not lowest total tax

SLOVAKIA, with its 19-percent flat-tax, has the lowest average income tax level in the whole of the EU. However, the country's total tax burden, including other contributions, is not the EU's lowest, according to information released by the Eurostat agency on October 21, the TASR news agency reported.

The average level of tax paid by the highest earners in the EU is 41.1 percent. After Slovakia, the lowest levels of income tax paid by the highest earners are in Estonia (24 percent), Latvia (25 percent) and Cyprus (30 percent). The highest income taxes are paid by top earners in Denmark (59 percent), Sweden (56.5 percent), Finland (52.1 percent) and The Netherlands (52.0 percent).

The average level of corporate tax in the EU is 26.3 percent. The lowest levels of corporate tax are in Cyprus (10 percent), Ireland (12.5 percent), and Latvia and Lithuania (both 15 percent). Companies in Slovakia also pay 19-percent tax. The highest levels of corporate tax are in Germany (38.6 percent), Italy (37.3 percent), Spain, and Malta (both 35 percent).

For 2003, the total average tax burden, including income tax and various other contributions, was 40.3 percent in the EU. The highest total tax burdens were in Sweden (50.8 percent) and Denmark (48.8 percent), while the lowest were in Lithuania (28.5 percent) and Latvia (28.9 percent).

According to Eurostat, the total tax burden in Slovakia was 30.6 percent in 2003, which represents a fall of 10 percent from 1995.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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