3 Jun 2016 11:00am

Tax Freedom Day four days later this year

Today is the first day of the year when British workers stop working to pay their taxes and start earning for themselves

Known as Tax Freedom Day, from today taxpayers have paid all their taxes for the year, according to Adam Smith Institute (ASI).

This means taxpayers worked 154 days this year solely to pay their taxes, four days longer than last year.

The think-tank urged government to cut spending and keep tax reform a priority and recommended raising the national insurance threshold to help the lowest paid workers.

This year also saw the date of the tax freedom tax creeping into June for the first time in 15 years, “a red flag that Britons’ tax burden is moving in the wrong director”, according to ASI.

Net national income increased by £34.6bn from 2015, while the government received £35.4bn more in taxes this year. The ASI said this means the government left Britons £1bn worse off than last year.

Eamonn Butler, director of the ASI, said, “The Treasury hates Tax Freedom Day because they don't want us to know how much tax we really pay. They conceal the tax burden with stealth taxes that we don't even realise we're paying.

“We work longer for the government than medieval serfs had to work for their Lords!”

Anita Monteith, ICAEW technical lead and senior policy adviser, said this was “bad news for taxpayers amidst a sluggish UK economy and ongoing uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum”.

“It does illustrate the scale of the tax burden on businesses and individuals, which is something that needs to be addressed by government.

“In order to enjoy greater economic growth and prosperity, it’s imperative that politicians seek to identify new and innovative ways of giving value back to taxpayers as opposed to taking it.”

Jessica Fino

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