Written by Richard Rowell
Published on May 29, 2011

It may pass many by unnoticed but 30th May is a milestone for employees across the UK. Why? It is Tax Freedom Day!

Tax Freedom Day aims to answer a very basic question: 'how much are Britons actually paying for government?'

Each year the boffins at the Adam Smith Institute calculate how many days you have to work each year to pay off your taxes. This year it is exactly 5 months. So once we reach the 1 June everything you earn is effectively ours. Today is the day you stop working for the government and start working for yourselves.

This year it was a whole 3 days more than in 2010 and 6 days more than 2009. Still, we are better off than we were in 2006 when we had to work until 4 June to pay off our taxes.

The breakdown of how long it takes to pay each tax off is as follows

  • Income Tax 39 days
  • National Insurance 26 days
  • VAT 29 days
  • Corporation Tax 12 days
  • Fuel duties & petroleum revenue tax 7 days
  • Local taxes (business and council tax) 13 days
  • Capital gains / inheritance tax 2 days
  • Duties on alcohol and tobacco 5 days
  • All other taxes 17 days

The tax burden also varies by region, falling more heavily on some and more lightly on others for instance the best result is in Wales where it takes only 35 days to pay your income tax while it takes 51 days in London