Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year that the nation as a whole has hypothetically earned enough money to cover its total tax bill for the year.
By looking at what date Tax Freedom Day falls on every year, you can really put your taxes into perspective. For instance, you can get an idea of how much of your personal income is really yours to do with what you want, and how much belongs to the government. It also lets you easily see how much South Africans spend on tax compared to other countries. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on 22 May 2014 [TvdH1] – the 142nd day of the year. In other words, it would take 141 days for the nation to pay its tax burden, assuming everyone worked every day and spent nothing.
However, while analysts say that the later TFD date has arisen as a result of an “election budget”, among other factors, research by financial services company Direct Axis shows that South Africans are still reasonably placed when compared with other nations.
In Sweden, for example, tax freeedom day fell on July 4 last year, meaning that country’s citizens worked almost half the year for the government.
The UK (May 30), France (June 19) and Italy (June 7) also take longer to achieve their respective tax freedom days.
The Direct Axis research shows that of this year’s R1.25-trillion budget in South Africa, education will take the biggest slice (R253.8-billion).
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