UK’s best paid among the world’s most taxed

According to data from the consultancy, Brits take home an average of 57.28 per cent of their salaries, compared with the more lenient Saudi Arabia, where working men take home 96.86 per cent.

The only two countries in the G20 that have larger tax takes than the UK are Italy, where workers hand over nearly 50 per cent of all their earnings to the taxman, and India.

Based on an individual with a salary of £250,000, married with two children and a mortgage of £750,000, this means that, in sterling terms, higher-rate taxpayers in this country have a net income of £143,188.

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In real terms, therefore, these individuals are likely to find themselves more squeezed, with mortgage loans and other costs eating into the real take-home pay of the average higher earner.

Ben Wilkins, tax partner for PWC, said although the figures show that the UK, relative to other countries, has a higher tax take, this is just one factor when it comes to whether the UK is an attractive place to live and work.

He said: “If people wanted to relocate to the UK, then things such as infrastructure, schooling, the relative stability of the country and the business environment generally are also important.”

Relying on a property or an inheritance to boost potential income is not likely to help the higher earner, either. Last year, the UK government announced it was freezing the inheritance tax threshold at the current level of £325,000 until at least 2019, potentially increasing its take by £2.1bn from 2013/14 to 2018/19.

Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of international wealth adviser deVere Group, said: “A combination of the chancellor’s freezing of the threshold and the recovery of the property market, has had the effect of dragging more people into the IHT net.

Countries with highest taxes

Proportion of take-home pay:

Italy: 50.59% (takes home $202,360 (£121,173) out of $400,000 salary)

India: 54.90%

United Kingdom: 57.28%