America's tax freedom


I keep an eye out for web mentions of Tax Freedom Day – that day in the year when we at last stop working for the tax authorities and at last start working for ourselves. And over the last couple of weeks, I've spotted lots and lots of mentions, because Tax Freedom Day arrives this month.

If you're an American, that is. The Tax Foundation has calculated that Tax Freedom Day this year will fall on April 23. That's three days earlier than in 2007, thanks to President Bush's tax rebates, designed to kick-start the US economy. But it's still later than it was during the whole of the 1980s (thanks, Mr Reagan) and the early years of the George W Bush administration.

None of this is any consolation to hard-pressed British taxpayers, though. Tax Freedom Day doesn't come in the UK until June 2 this year. That's also a little earlier than last year, but the general trend has been upwards in the UK for some long time.

So as the Americans are heading off to the beach to celebrate their liberation from taxes on April 23, we Brits will still be slaving away for the benefit of HM Revenue & Customs. Slaving for nearly another six weeks, in fact. Isn't that just too long to be in thrall to our political masters?