Is Canada the Highest-Taxed Country in The World? Comparison to Other Countries

No, Canada is not the highest-taxed country in the world. But, depending on how you look at it, it could be argued that it is.

Here’s a quick rundown of the taxes Canadians pay: there’s federal tax, provincial tax, and municipal tax. And, of course, there are also hidden taxes like sales tax and gas tax.

So, when you add it all up, are Canadians really paying more tax than anyone else?

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Canadian Taxes explained

It is a common misconception that Canada has the highest taxes in the world. In reality, however, Canada’s tax burden is relatively moderate when compared to other developed countries.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada’s total tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 13.1% in July 2024, which is below the OECD average of 34.2%. When you compare this to other developed countries, you can see that Canada’s taxation level is actually quite reasonable.


Here are some examples:

– In the United States, total tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 17.8 % at the same time period

– In Germany, it was 24.7%.

– In Japan, it was 15.6%.

– In France, it was 17%.

As you can see, there are many developed countries that have higher levels of taxation than Canada. So why is it that so many people believe that Canada has the highest taxes in the world?

There are a few possible explanations:

– Maybe it’s because we hear about how high taxes are in other countries more than we hear about how moderate they are in Canada. After all, it’s much more newsworthy to talk about how a country has high taxes than it is to talk about how their taxes are just average.

– We compare Canada to neighbors more than we compare this country to other countries around the world. And when we do this, it can appear that our taxes are higher because both the United States and Mexico have lower levels of taxation than us.

– People only look at the federal income tax rate when they compare tax rates between countries. But this doesn’t give an accurate picture because there are many other types of taxes besides income taxes – such as sales, property, and capital gains taxes – and these need to be taken into account as well. When all these different types of taxes are considered together, it paints a much different picture of where Canada stands in the world.

The Tax System in Canada

The tax system in Canada is progressive, which means that high-income earners pay a higher percentage of taxes than low-income earners. The federal government collects fees on income, consumption, and wealth, while the provinces collect them on property and income.

The top marginal tax rate for federal taxes is 33%, which applies to incomes over $200,000. The top marginal tax rate for provincial taxes varies by province but is generally around 50%.

Canadians also pay various other types of fees, including payroll, fuel, and sin taxes (on tobacco and alcohol).

Overall, Canada has a relatively high tax burden when compared to other developed countries. Check out Blackspark to learn more about tax preparation services.

The Corporate Tax Rate in Canada

The corporate tax rate in Canada is 26.5%, which is higher than the OECD average of 22.5%. Canada also has a value-added tax (VAT) of 5%, which is lower than the OECD average of 20.9%.

The Personal Income Tax Rate

The top marginal personal income tax rate in Canada is under 50 percent. This means that if you make more than CAD$220,000 (about US$164,000), you will pay the highest rate on your last dollar earned. The good news is that there are many credits and deductions available to reduce your overall burden.

To see how this compares to other countries, let’s look at the top marginal personal income tax rates in some of Canada’s major trading partners. In the United States, the top marginal rate is 37 percent, while in China it is 45 percent. In Mexico, the rate is 35 percent and in Japan, it is 50 percent. As you can see, Canada’s top marginal rate is higher than many of its major trading partners.


However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are just marginal rates. The effective rate takes into account all of the taxes that a person pays, including payroll, property, and sales taxes. When all of these fees are considered, Canada’s effective rate is lower than the United States and many other developed countries.

The Sales Tax Rate

In Canada, it stands at 13 percent. The sales tax rate is the amount of sales tax imposed on the sale of a good or service. The turnover rate is a tax charged on the provision of certain services.

The Property Tax Rate

The average effective property tax rate in Canada is 0.5% to 2.5%, which is the third highest in the world. Only Belgium (1.5% to 2.5%) and Germany (2.6% to 6%) have higher property tax rates.

Does it impact the economy?

There is no doubt that high taxes can have an impact on the economy, but it is important to consider the other side of the equation. After all, they are also used to fund vital services like healthcare and education. They can also be used to help reduce inequality and poverty.

So, what is the real impact of high taxes on the Canadian economy?

There is no easy answer, but there are a few key points to consider.

First, it is important to remember that Canada is a large and diverse country. This means that the effects of high fees will vary from region to region. For example, they might be more damaging to small businesses in rural areas than they are to large corporations in urban areas.


It is important to remember that the impact of high taxes on the economy is not always negative. In some cases, such as when they are used to fund vital services or reduce inequality, they can actually have a positive impact.


After looking at the data, it is clear that Canada is not the highest-taxed country in the world. In fact, its taxes are relatively low when compared to other developed countries. The two main reasons for this misconception are that Canadians pay more taxes than Americans and that the Canadian government collects more revenue as a percentage of GDP than most other countries. However, when you compare the total tax burden (taxes as a percentage of income) of Canadians to other countries, it is clear that Canada is not the highest-taxed country in the world.