Tax Burden in Austria Still High According to OECD

PeopleOther ♦ Published: April 25, 2023; 23:33 ♦ (Vindobona)

According to a study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), taxes and duties for Austrian employees continue to be high in international comparison.

Only in three of the 38 OECD member states is the tax burden higher than in Austria. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Christoph Waghubinger, CC BY-SA 3.0 Austria

As the OECD's published "Taxing Wages" study shows, the tax and contribution burden for the average single worker in Austria has decreased by one percentage point from 47.8 in 2021 to 46.8 percent in 2022.

Nevertheless, Austria has the fourth-highest "tax wedge" among the 38 OECD member countries. This amounted to 34.6 percent in the OECD area last year. The "tax wedge" includes not only the taxes paid by employees (i.e. payroll taxes and social security contributions) but also employers' social security contributions less family benefits received.

In terms of contributions for average earners without children, Austria ranks fourth behind Belgium, Germany, and France at 46.8 percent of total wage costs. In 2021, Austria was still in third place with 47.8 percent.

Taxes for employees with children fell more significantly in the previous year. The figure for an average single-earner couple with two children was 30.2 percent in 2022, down from 34.1 percent the year before, making it the 13th-highest "tax wedge" in the OECD. The OECD average was 25.6 percent.

Thus, the "tax wedge" for an average worker with two children was 16.6 percentage points lower than that for an average earner without children. The OECD average difference was 8.9 percentage points.