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.
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.