What America's Average Take-Home Pay Looks Like Compared to Other Countries

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iStock

When you look at how much money people make around the world, salaries can only show part of the picture. In practically every country, workers give up a chunk of their paycheck to the government. So after taxes, which citizens get to hold onto the biggest slice of their pie? These graphics from the company relocation program CapRelo lay it out, analyzing what people making the average wage in a number of countries can expect to pay in taxes each year.

A map of the percentage of the average wage in each country that goes toward taxes
CapRelo

The countries with the highest tax rates in the world can all be found in Europe. In Belgium, workers give up 45 percent of the average wage, while in Sweden, they pay 52 percent, and in Denmark, they pay 56 percent. But not every nation on the continent follows this trend. In Switzerland, employees making the average wage pay just 2 percent in taxes, one of the lowest rates in the world. The only citizens that pay less are in India and Saudi Arabia, where the tax rates are 0 percent.

Lower taxes don't necessarily equal bigger paychecks. Though Denmark pays the most taxes, the average take-home salary ($28,227) is still higher than it is in Saudi Arabia ($21,720) and India ($1,670). But workers in Switzerland enjoy the biggest wages after taxes by far, with an average take-home salary of $84,006. The runner-up is the U.S., with an average take-home salary of $52,344.

A graph showing average salaries versus take-home pay
CapRelo

Of course, these figures don't take the cost of living into account. Citizens paying less in taxes are often forced to spend that money on benefits they would receive from the government in other countries. In Switzerland, for example, you have to pay to drive on motorways, while in the U.S., most highways are maintained using government funds. Meanwhile, the U.S. is one of the few developed nations that doesn't offer universal healthcare. And while Swedes may pay a lot in taxes, thanks to generous government subsidies, they also pay some of the world's lowest rates for childcare. So make sure you consider all the factors before picking a new place to live based on tax rate.

[h/t CapRelo]

Scam Alert: Calls, Emails, or Texts About Government Stimulus Checks Are Bogus

Stimulus check scams are circulating.
Stimulus check scams are circulating.
anyaberkut/iStock via Getty Images

The federal government is currently in the process of distributing stimulus checks to taxpayers as part of a $2 trillion effort to bolster the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. While no action or effort is needed on the part of citizens, some people might receive calls, emails, or texts prompting them to offer additional information.

Naturally, it’s a scam. According to Business Insider, the Treasury Department is cautioning taxpayers that any entity purporting to be affiliated with the government and asking for their personal data for the purposes of issuing the stimulus check is fraudulent.

On their website, the department states that any solicitation for information or offer to hasten delivery of the check in exchange for a fee is not coming from the government, which usually communicates via the United States Postal Service. Instead, it would be an attempt to steal your private banking, credit card, or other information.

It’s also possible some scammers are mailing out bogus stimulus checks in an effort to prompt recipients to call and offer private information. Since the checks will take weeks to arrive, you should eye such correspondence with suspicion.

Many stimulus checks will be remitted via direct deposit if the IRS has that information on file from a resident’s 2018 or 2019 tax returns. If not, the Treasury will soon have a method to enter that information online. More details are expected in the coming days.

For the moment, the one beneficial online resource regarding stimulus checks is an online calculator that can help determine the amount you can expect to receive. No private information is required.

[h/t Business Insider]

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Are Coming: Here's How to See If You Qualify

Most Americans will soon be receiving a stimulus check.
Most Americans will soon be receiving a stimulus check.
cabania/iStock via Getty Images

After days of deliberation and debate, the federal government appears to be ready to enact a stimulus package that offers financial assistance to Americans affected by the current coronavirus public health crisis. How much you’ll get—or if you’re eligible to get anything at all—requires sharing a little bit of information.

Fortunately, the Washington Post is helping make that easy. The site has posted a calculator that can determine your eligibility for the stimulus check based on your marital status, adjusted gross income, and number of children.

The basics? Those making $75,000 or less per year will receive a check for $1200. If you make up to $99,000, you’re still eligible, but $5 is shaved off for every $100 made above $75,000.

A married couple will receive $2400 provided their adjusted gross income is below $150,000. Adjusted checks will go out to couples making up to $198,000. Married couples will receive $500 for each child in the household. Single parents can make up to $112,500 a year and still receive the $1200 check, plus $500 for each child.

In this age of social distancing, some are wondering whether it would be better to get direct deposit for these funds rather than have to visit a bank. The government will use direct deposit, but that information has to be available on your 2019 tax return. If you haven’t filed yet, your 2018 return will be used for your banking information, as well as to determine your income and household status.

It could take several weeks for all the checks to be distributed. While some may receive them in early April, others might not get theirs for several weeks. And while it's possible more checks may be coming, nothing has been made official.

[h/t Washington Post]

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