Tax Freedom Day arrives - for some


Scottish independence

Congratulations, you can now start earning for yourself rather than Chancellor George Osborne. Today, 28 May, is Tax Freedom Day (TFD). In fact, you're actually earning for yourself three days earlier than last year.

However you could be celebrating even earlier.

Earning for yourself - finally

The Adam Smith Institute claims TFD is calculated by comparing general government tax revenue with Net National Income (NNI). "The total of all government tax revenue – direct and indirect taxes, local taxes and National Insurance contributions – is calculated as a percentage of NNI at market prices," it says.

"This year it comes to 41.09%," it goes on. "That percentage is then converted to days of the year, starting from 1 January. The first day of the year that Britons work for themselves rather than the taxman is Tax Freedom Day."

Headstart for the richest

Equality Trust analysis claims that when all taxes on income are taken into account, the richest 10 per cent pay 35 per cent of their income in taxes. However, the poorest 10 per cent actually pay more – 43 per cent it says.

"Taken as a fraction of the year, this means that the day someone in the richest 10 per cent stops contributing to tax, or their 'Tax Freedom Day', is actually on May 9th," says John Hood from the Equality Trust.

"The poorest," Hood goes on, "on the other hand are still waiting for their Tax Freedom Day, which will not come until June 5th, nearly a month after the richest 10 per cent."


You could argue, then, that rather than pushing the idea that paying tax is a bore and a repressive piece of statecraft, we could all benefit from a more honest debate on just how fair the UK tax system is currently. So, Happy TFD.

And if you're not part of the richest 10 per cent, you've got a week's wait on your hands. In the meantime, don't forget you can pay less tax by using ISA, pension and IHT gifting allowances and quotas.

The overall cash Isa allowance has increased to £11,880 for the 2014/15 tax year while the limit for cash Isas has risen to £5,940 from £5,760. From 1 July, the overall limit is upped to £15,000 a year, made up of cash, or stocks and shares, or a mix of both.