Here are the 27 countries with the highest levels of tax

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Every year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report on the state of the world's economies.

The WEF looks at data on areas as varied as the quality of the teaching of math in schools to the rate of inflation in each country. It then uses the data to compile a picture of virtually every country.

One of the indicators the WEF uses is a country's tax burden, with higher scores indicating lower competitiveness.

To measure tax it uses the World Bank's total tax rate. Here's what goes into that: The total amount of taxes is the sum of five different types of taxes and contributions payable after accounting for deductions and exemptions: profit or corporate income tax, social contributions and labor taxes paid by the employer, property taxes, turnover taxes, and other small taxes.

Basically, it's all the taxes levied on businesses but not those levied on the people who work for them. Business Insider took a look at the countries with total tax rates of more than 50%.

27. Japan: 51.3% — Japan has one of the largest economies despite having a total tax rate of more than 50%. It has the fifth-highest taxes in Asia.

26. Mexico: 51.8% — Mexico is one of several Latin American countries with a total tax rate above 50%. The basic rate of tax for corporations sits at 30%.

25. Ivory Coast: 51.9% — One of eight African countries in our ranking, Ivory Coast charges a basic 25% corporate profits tax but bumps that to 30% for those in the telecommunication, IT, and communication sectors.

24. Austria: 52% — One of just six countries in Europe with a tax rate of more than 50%, Austria has some interesting quirks with its tax system. For example, couples are taxed separately even when they're married.

23. Ukraine: 52.9% — Businesses in Ukraine have to contend not only with serious geopolitical concerns, but also with some of the highest taxes in Europe. Only four countries on the continent have a higher total rate.

22. Sri Lanka: 55.6% — Sri Lanka's basic rate of tax for corporations stands at 28%, but it jumps to 40% for any company "dealing in liquor or tobacco." The total rate of tax ends up far higher, though, thanks to several more add-ons.

21. Belgium: 57.8% — The home of the European Union has the fourth-highest rate of tax in the eurozone and the highest outside the "big five" Euro countries.

20. Costa Rica: 58% — The small nation is one of a few countries in Central America to have a tax rate well in excess of 50%. This is part in thanks to high levels of tax activism in recent years, which has led policymakers to increase total taxes.

19. Spain: 58.2% — Two of the other "big five" European countries sneak in ahead of Spain, with higher rates for businesses.

18. India: 61.7% — Finance Minister Arun Jaitley aims to cut India's corporate tax level by more than 5 percentage points, down to 25% over four years.

17. Tunisia: 62.4% — Though some other countries farther south have steeper rates, Tunisia's total tax rate is the second highest in North Africa.

16. Benin: 63.3% — The World Bank says the country's corporate income tax runs to only 15.9%, but a bundle of other taxes raise the total rate imposed on businesses significantly.

15. Gambia: 63.3% — Without major natural resources, Gambia is among the poorest nations in the world. Taxes on turnover rather than profit raise rates for businesses significantly.

14. Chad: 63.5% — Like Gambia, Chad relies on agriculture and is extremely poor. It taxes 1.5% of turnover or 40% or profits, depending on which is higher.

13. China: 64.6% — Like many other countries on the list, China levies some taxes on the turnover of businesses rather than on their profit.

12. Italy: 65.4% — Though known for its higher tax rates, Italy gets beaten to the top spot in Europe by another country.

11. Venezuela: 65.5% — The government of Venezuela pursued a higher-tax model, with dramatic increases in taxes for foreign oil companies under President Hugo Chavez.

10. Nicaragua: 65.8% — In 2012, the International Monetary Fund suggested that the country reduce the complexity of its corporate tax system.

9. France: 66.6% — The country tops the ranks for Europe, though the current government has pledged to overhaul the system and cut corporate taxes.

8. Guinea?: 68.3% — Most of Guinea's corporate taxes are paid through a flat-rate tax on turnover from the previous year.

7. Brazil: 69% — Last year, Latin America's biggest economy eliminated a 20% tax on business payrolls as part of an effort to reform its system.

6. Mauritania: 71.3% — In 2013, this agriculture-dependent country brought in a withholding tax of 15% to stop people from moving payments to nonresidents.

6. Algeria: 72.7% — Algeria has the highest total tax rate in Africa.

4. Colombia: 75.4% — The country brought in a new wealth tax — though it's fourth in the world, it comes in third in Latin America for its total tax rate.

3. Tajikistan: 80.9% — The country in Central Asia has a 2% statutory tax rate on all turnover, which takes out a significant chunk of a company's average profits.

2. Bolivia: 83.7% — Bolivia's 3% tax on transactions wipes out 60% of company profits, even before other taxes are taken into account. But it still loses out to one other Latin American country.

1. Argentina: 137.3% — Astonishingly, Argentina's total tax rate is judged to be over 100% of corporate profits. The country's turnover tax alone eats up nearly 90% before taxes on salaries and financial transactions are taken into account.


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