Canada - English


  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 12/13/2012

Top personal income tax rates increase around the world 

Canada makes list of locations to introduce additional tax for its highest earners


TORONTO, December 13, 2012 - Top personal income taxes around the world have increased by an average of 0.3 percent in 2012, according to a new study from KPMG. Top tax rates have seen varied movement since the study's inception - from 2003 to 2009, top tax rates gradually declined, and began increasing again in 2010, sparked by deficit concerns. In 2011, top tax rates remained in a holding pattern, and have since increased in 2012.


The annual Individual Income Tax and Social Security Rate Survey, prepared by KPMG's International Executive Services (IES) practice concentrates on the highest rates of tax payable to central government in each country. Canadians pay the top tax rate on income over CDN$132,407 (US$134,247), compared to income over US$388,350 in the United States (US) and income over GBP£150,000 (US$242,760) in the United Kingdom.

"In large part, this upward movement in personal taxes is the result of continued interest in economic recovery and increased debt concerns," said Jim Yager, Tax Partner and National Leader, International Executive Services, KPMG LLP. "Many economies, including Canada, deemed it necessary to increase their highest rate of personal income tax through one of two approaches, the creation of a new tax band for high income earners, or through temporary taxes to address immediate deficit concerns."

Of the 114 countries studied, Canada was one of many to introduce new tax bands for high income earners. In particular, Ontario's recently announced tax increase for high income earners contributed to Canada making the list of locations that introduced additional tax bands for its highest earners in 2012.

When it comes to Canada's neighbours to the south, there were no changes to top federal rates in the US in 2012. However, US tax cuts are once again scheduled to expire at year's end, and if on schedule, would see top US Federal tax rates increase from 35 percent to 39.6 in 2013.

"There is a high probability that increasing economic pressures may give multinationals reason to relocate their executives," said Howard Greenberg, Partner, Immigration Practice, KPMG Law LLP. "Given the increase in rates, and that mobility is often an option for Canadian businesses, it will be interesting to see whether Canadian businesses or high income earners relocate to places that offer more attractive personal tax rates for its highest earners."

The survey also compares the amount of tax an individual will generally pay on income equal to US $100,000 when provincial and state income tax and social security taxes are taken into account. Of the 114 countries studies, Canada ranks 40th from the top, with a tax burden lower than some European countries, but higher than the US.

While these top rates may appear high, it is important to remember that a country's highest personal income tax rate is only one indicator of what taxes individuals may pay on their income, and that they are just as influential as other taxes that may apply.

About the Survey

KPMG's Individual Income Tax and Social Security Rate Survey is a cross-border survey of personal tax and social security rates with historical data from 2003-2012. The report covers 114 countries, concentrating on the highest level of personal tax payable to the central government.

The study was commissioned by KPMG's IES practice, comprising professionals from across our global network of member firms.

A copy of the survey is available at: or visit our online tax rate tool at: for easy corporate, indirect and individual income tax rate comparisons and analysis.

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, an Audit, Tax and Advisory firm ( and a Canadian limited liability partnership established under the laws of Ontario, is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG member firms around the world have 152,000 professionals, in 156 countries.


The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity, and describes itself as such.

About KPMG Law LLP

Working together, KPMG LLP and KPMG Law LLP help resolve our clients' most complex tax and immigration challenges from end to end, drawing on insight from both local and global teams to get complete answers, perspective and results.

KPMG Law LLP is a tax and immigration law firm affiliated with KPMG LLP, each of which is a Canadian limited liability partnership.

For more information:

For more information, contact:

Michael Bodsworth

National Manager, Media Relations

KPMG in Canada

(416) 777-3407


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