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Where in the world are the worst expat taxes?

09 March, 2015 18:00  Erin Erin

The World Each Nation National flags © Aania - Fotolia.com The Wall Street Journal recently posted a list of the world's best–and worst–tax rules for expats. While some countries were to be expected on the worst-taxed list (a little side eye at you Spain), there were some surprises on both lists. A summary of the best and the worst...

World's Worst Tax locations (determined by high marginal rates):

  • Slovenia 61.1%
  • Belgum 59.6%
  • Portugal 59.1%
  • Finland 56%
  • France 54.1%
  • Sweden 52.%
  • Ireland 52%
  • Spain 51.9%
  • Zimbabwe 51.5%
  • Japan 51.1%

World's Best Tax locations (determined by low marginal rates):

  • Kazakhstan 10%
  • Bulgaria 10%
  • Guatemala 11.5%
  • Russia 11.7%
  • Bolivia 14.2%
  • Mauritius 15%
  • Hong Kong 15%
  • Serbia 15%
  • Madagascar 18%
  • Paraguay 18.1%
"While many countries have tax systems that include income tax, some locales offer expats a lower tax rate to encourage more globetrotters to settle down. Spain, for example, allows qualifying expats to pay a flat 24.75% tax on gross income for the first five years, which is substantially lower than the maximum 51.9% marginal rate. In Japan, certain employer reimbursements for expats can be made either tax-free or at a reduced tax cost."

Americans abroad also need to factor in their US taxes. Ouch if you're in Sweden. Rarely do we choose where we live by best tax rates, or else Kazakhstan and Bulgaria would be seeing a major influx of outsiders. 

The full list can be found on the WSJ's site

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