THE UK has the highest tax on capital in Europe, at 45.9 per cent, according to new research by Eurostat.
Our capital tax rates, measured at the height of the recession in 2008, were almost double the European average of 26.1 per cent.
The lowest implicit tax rates on capital were recorded in Estonia (10.7 per cent), Lithuania (12.4 per cent) and Ireland (15.7 per cent). Second and third highest nations were Denmark (43.1 per cent) and France (38.8 per cent).
The report by the statistics department of the European Commission showed tax levels are extremely high in the EU compared to other major economies such as Japan and the US.
The overall ratio of tax to economic output was 39.3 per cent across the EU in 2008, more than a third above the level recorded in the US and Japan.
It also showed wide discrepancies within the EU, with Nordic countries imposing the highest taxes.
Tax revenue as a share of GDP was highest in Denmark (48.2 per cent), Sweden (47.1 per cent) and Belgium (44.3 per cent). It was the lowest in Romania (28 per cent), Latvia (28.9 per cent) and Slovakia (29.1 per cent). In the UK it was 37.3 per cent.
Among the broadly wealthier, west European countries, Ireland had the lowest taxation ratio at 29.3 per cent.
Italy had the highest rate of taxation on labour at 42.8 per cent.
Denmark had the highest rate of tax on consumption at 28.4 per cent.
FAST FACTS | EUROPEAN TAX
Ireland has the lowest average taxation of any of the wealthy, west European countries.
VAT in the EU nations ranges from 15 per cent in Cyprus and Luxembourg to 25 per cent in Denmark, Hungary and Sweden.