Ireland vs France: In which country do you pay the most taxes?

Ireland vs France Tax Summary

Obviously, all countries have a different way of calculating taxes, and different tax segments. Therefore, to compare these two countries, let’s take the salaries of someone who gains 28 000 € a year (about 33 000 $), 45 000 € a year (about 53 000 $), and 113 000 € a year (about 132 500 $), and see how much they have left after taxes in each country.

In France:

Gross Salary After Tax Tax rate
28 000 € 19 294 € 31.8%
45 000 € 26 616 € 41.2%
113 000 € 45 945 € 59.4%

In Ireland:

Gross Salary After Tax Tax rate
28 000 € 23 939 € 15.3%
45 000 € 33 558 € 26%
113 000 € 66 678 € 41%

Ireland has somewhat the reputation of being a tax haven, and that appears to stand, especially when you compare it to France, where taxes are supposedly very high.

This isn’t completely true, however. Indeed, the rates that you see here include not only taxes, but social contributions, and the French make it a point to differentiate the two.

So what does that mean?

Basically, in France, once you’ve paid these amounts, you automatically have access to services like healthcare, unemployment benefits, retirement plans…  In Ireland, that’s not the case:

  • The healthcare you’ve got in France is arguably one of the best in the world, but there’s no such equivalent in Ireland. Instead, the Irish have to pay over 50€ per consultation, and family insurance policies cost about 2000 € a year.
  • Furthermore, in Ireland, state pensions only go up to 192 £ a week (about 976 € a month), when in France, they’re up to 50% of your previous salary.
  • Finally, the VAT is at 23% in Ireland, when it’s only 20% in France.


Given how different the two systems are, it’s hard to definitively say that one is better than the other. However, overall, if you live in Ireland and want to have access to social services equivalent to what you can get in France, you would almost certainly have to pay more.