Average US worker pays 31.5 percent tax rate

Average US worker pays 31.5 percent tax rate
© Greg Nash

The average, unmarried U.S. worker without children paid an average tax rate of 31.5 percent in 2014, according to new data released on Tuesday.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of 34 advanced economies, said the rate for childless workers in the United States is lower than in many other industrialized nations.


The 31.5 average is the 11th lowest rate among OECD countries, putting the U.S. just behind Canada and the United Kingdom. The average rate throughout the OECD is 36 percent, a figure driven up rates in Belgium (55.3 percent), Austria (49.4 percent), Germany (49.3 percent) and Hungary (49 percent).

Chile, New Zealand, Mexico and Israel had the lowest average rates for single workers among OECD countries. Roughly two-thirds of the OECD's members are in Europe, and emerging economies like Brazil, China and India aren't members.

The report, released on the eve of the IRS's filing deadline, comes as Republicans and Democrats remain divided over what to do about the top tax rate for individuals in the U.S. 

Democrats have no desire to bring the top rate of 39.6 percent down, after it was raised by the "fiscal cliff" deal more than two years ago. Top Republicans want to slash that rate and have called the divide one of the larger obstacles to an overhaul of the tax code that doesn't focus just on businesses.

The new OECD report found that income taxes have risen about 1 percentage point in member countries between 2010 and 2014, even though most governments didn't raise income tax rates.