Global rate of personal tax set to rise

Despite a global drop in top income tax rates from 29.2% in 2008 to 28.9% 2009, it is likely that the downward trend after several years could reverse with countries other than the UK increasing top rates of income tax come 2010. Sue Bonney, head of tax at KPMG Europe said: 'In the current economic environment where countries face increasing budget deficits and need funding for various economic stimulus packagessome are turning to those in the highest income brackets amongst their current.' KPMG's 2009 Individual Income Tax and Social Security Rate Survey revealed that the highest global income taxes are still paid by citizens of Europe. With the inclusion of the 'forgotten tax' of social security, Denmark exhibits the highest rate at 62.3%. Bonney noted: 'Social security is a forgotten tax and many countries are talking about increasing contributions made to these programs'. She added: 'HR professionals need to consider social security along with the entire gamut of taxesin order to better inform their international assignment program decisions and discussions.' And there is an additional warning that raising top rates of personal tax could make it difficult to attract top talent to some countries, impacting growth prospects - a warning previously shouted out from critics of the Chancellor's announcement of the 50% tax rate on the UK's highest earners in his pre-budget speech. 'High income earners typically have the talent and credentials to migrate to countries that have lower personal income tax rates and a need for skilled labour, so a shift in personal income tax rates could potentially impact global workforce mobility trends and starve some countries of so-called mobile talent.'
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