Tax Freedom Day has come: You’re finally working for yourself | Kate Andrews writes for City AM

Head of Communications Kate Andrews writes on Tax Freedom Day for City AM:
Congratulations – you, and the rest of the UK, have collectively paid off your taxes for the year, and it only took you 150 days to do it.
Every year, the Adam Smith Institute calculates Tax Freedom Day – the first day of the year when the average person stops working for the government and starts earning for themselves. This year, that was yesterday, 31 May.
Of course, there is no “average earner”. Lower earners will hit this landmark much earlier in the year, while many higher earners will be taxed for weeks more to pay off their bill. But our calculations measure the entire tax take. So even if you exclude the variability of direct taxes like income and National Insurance contributions, we are all still burdened by day-to-day taxes, like VAT, and stealth taxes that keep prices high throughout the year, like air passenger duty.

Read the full article here.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

Tax Freedom Day calculations feature in City AM

The Adam Smith Institute's Tax Freedom Day calculations feature in two City AM articles:

THE AVERAGE worker has spent the entire year until yesterday working for the government, and only now will earn for themselves, according to a study from the Adam Smith Institute.

Its Tax Freedom Day report studies the government’s overall tax take, including charges on spending as well as income, and uses the calendar year to illustrate how much revenue the Treasury takes each year.

Read the full article here.

The average British citizen works for 150 days of the year solely to pay their taxes, according to the Adam Smith Institute, organisers of Tax Freedom Day.

The UK's Tax Freedom Day fell on 31 May this year, one day later than it did in 2014. It is calculated by the Adam Smith Institute, and marks how many days of the year British residents would need to work just to pay their taxes.

It is based on the money raised by HM Revenue and Customs - including direct taxes like income tax and national insurance, as well as indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duties.

Read the full article here.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

Tax Freedom Day has arrived | Ben Southwood writes for CapX

Head of Research Ben Southwood writes on Tax Freedom Day for CapX:

Tax Freedom Day is upon us again. In 2015 the average person stops paying tax, and starts paying themselves, on 31st May. Every penny they earned from 1st January to 30th May, inclusive, went to the taxman.

Well, not quite. Firstly, and quite obviously, people pay tax throughout the year, not in one big block at the start. Secondly, lots of the total tax take comes from sources people don’t believe or know they themselves are actually paying. Thirdly, there is no average person; practically every single person in the country will actually stop paying tax either sooner or later than 31st May. Tax Freedom Day is not supposed to represent some actual experience for households — it is a regular, timely reminder of how large the state really is.

Read the full article here.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

Sam Bowman writes on Tax Freedom Day for Conservative Home

Deputy Director Sam Bowman writes on Tax Freedom Day for Conservative Home:

Benjamin Franklin said that only two things in life are inevitable: death and taxes. Death is more permanent, but it comes just once in our lives. Taxes are ever-present.

What’s worse, most of us only have a vague idea about how much tax we’re actually paying. 20 per cent? Well, that’s income tax, but we pay National Insurance on our income, too, which adds another 12 per cent. What’s left is taxed when we spend it.

Read the full article here.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

Tax Freedom Day calculations feature in The Sunday Telegraph

The Adam Smith Institute's Tax Freedom Day calculations featured in the Sunday Telegraph:

The burden of taxation has fallen more heavily on Britons this year, despite the Government spending less.

Tax Freedom Day - the point at which the average person stops paying tax, and can start earning for themselves - falls on Sunday, a day later than last year.

The symbolic milestone reflects the growing share of our incomes that is paid to the Treasury as tax.

The Adam Smith Institute (ASI), which calculates when the day falls in the UK, said that the later date serves as a reminder that “the Government needs to make tax cuts a priority in this parliament”.

Read the full article here.

Tax Freedom Day also featured in several online Telegraph articles, which included a Tax Freedom Day calculator that allows you to calculate when you are free from income tax.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

Tax Freedom Day calculations feature in The Sunday Times

The Adam Smith Institute’s Tax Freedom Day calculations featured in the Sunday Times:

Working harder for the taxman

Tax freedom day will fall on May 31 this year, one day later than in 2014, according to the Adam Smith Institute. This is the day when you have, in theory, paid all your tax and can now finally keep the money you earn.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

Press Release: Tax Freedom Day falls on 31st May in 2015

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07476 915072

  • Tax Freedom day falls one day later than it did in 2014; a reminder that the Government needs to make tax cuts a priority in this Parliament.
  • Brits work 150 days of the year solely to pay taxes; every day from 1st January to 30th May.
  • Cost of Government Day is 29th June, three days earlier than in 2014; the government is cutting total spending slowly, but the national debt—and future taxes needed to pay it off—are still ballooning.

This year’s Tax Freedom Day, the day when Britons stop working to pay their taxes and start earning for themselves, falls on 31st May, according to Adam Smith Institute calculations.

The Adam Smith Institute estimates that Britons will work 150 days this year solely to pay their taxes. This is one day later than 2014′s Tax Freedom Day, which is not statistically significant. However, the UK’s Tax Freedom Day falls more than a month later than it does in the United States, where citizens started earning for themselves on 24th April.

Tax Freedom Day is designed to reveal to the public how much they really pay out in taxes, which Britain’s lengthy tax code can often obscure. The Institute's calculations include all taxes raised by HM Revenue and Customs: direct taxes like income tax, national insurance and corporation tax, and indirect taxes like VAT and excise duties.

Cost of Government Day, which represents Total Managed Expenditure as a day of the year, falls on 29th June, three days earlier than it fell in 2014. While this suggests a slight improvement over last year, the money borrowed to cover the month-long gap between Tax Freedom Day must eventually be paid off with future taxes. This means without tax cuts or major growth Tax Freedom Day would eventually have to drift even later.

Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr Eamonn Butler, said:

The Treasury hates Tax Freedom Day, because they don't want us to know how much tax we really pay. They prefer to conceal the tax burden through stealth taxes and indirect taxes that we don't even realise we're paying.

Most people are shocked to learn that the government takes over two-fifths of the country's earnings – and then borrows more. Mediaeval serfs had to work about a third of their time for their feudal lord, but we are in serfdom to the government for even longer!

High taxes are very bad for economic growth, as talent and initiative drain abroad. Ask President Hollande of France.

Alan Mak, Conservative MP for Havant, added:

The ASI’s work on Tax Freedom Day reminds us that we must carry on reducing the tax burden on hardworking individuals and businesses so we have greater economic growth and individual prosperity. That’s a goal I champion as a member of the new Conservative intake; income tax cuts and frozen council tax and fuel duty have so far made millions of Britons better off, but politicians must continue to look for new ways to get money back into taxpayer pockets, not out.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Head of Communications, at kate@adamsmith.org | 07476 915072.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

Charlotte Bowyer's comments on the crackdown on legal highs feature in The Independent

Head of Digital Policy Charlotte Bowyer's comments on the crackdown on legal highs feature in The Independent:

Charlotte Bowyer, head of digital policy at the Adam Smith Institute, said: "A 'blanket ban' on psychoactive substances may eliminate high street 'head shops' but will push trade underground and encourage a slew of new, even more dangerous alternatives.

"The fact that everyday substances like caffeine, alcohol and tobacco would be covered by such a ban (and have to be exempted) just shows how all-encompassing and heavy-handed such an approach is."

Read the full article here.

ASI comments on the Queen's Speech feature in The Telegraph and Real Business

The Adam Smith Institute's comments on the Queen's Speech have featured in The Telegraph and Real Business. From The Telegraph:

But Charlotte Bowyer, head of digital policy at the Adam Smith Institute, warned of potential negative consequences from the “heavy-handed” ban.

"Just as incredibly destructive drugs like crystal meth and crack cocaine emerged from a clampdown on less risky drugs, so legal highs fill a void for the recreational drug user.

"A 'blanket ban' on psychoactive substances may eliminate high street 'head shops', but will push trade underground and encourage a slew of new, even more dangerous alternatives,” she said.

"The fact that everyday substances like caffeine, alcohol and tobacco would be covered by such a ban (and have to be exempted) just shows how all-encompassing and heavy-handed such an approach is. To reduce harm from drug use the government should instead legalise recreational drugs like cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine so they are available with rigorous safety controls."

Read the full article here.

From Real Business:

Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute, said:

"Greater financial devolution to Scotland will create a healthier public debate there. Instead of 'How do we spend England's money?' attention will turn to 'How much will Scottish taxpayers be willing to stump up for our generous spending plans?' The SNP might then find themselves facing a real popular opposition.

"The devolution plans will hit major opposition from English MPs unless there is a credible 'English votes for English laws' initiative. It is well beyond time that the West Lothian question was resolved.

Read the full article here.