This inBrief compares the tax take in the Republic of Ireland and UK to other wealthy European countries. The analysis suggests that the Republic and UK are low tax jurisdictions, with significant gaps in social contributions and under the heading of labour tax.
The relative degree and sufficiency of the tax take is the frequent subject of debate around the world. This is true in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, which are often considered institutionally and culturally similar in their approach to taxation and the state. I use per capita estimates of receipts in 2018 to compare the tax systems of the two states to similarly developed western European countries. I find that the UK and the Republic of Ireland collect relatively low levels of tax, driven by shortfalls in collected taxes on labour, particularly contributions from employers. Other sector aggregates show smaller or negative gaps, but subdivisions like tax on self-employed income show deficits.