By - LelsarnBiggums
You mix a lot of things OP.
Easy things first: are there state Taxes? Answer yes and no. There are even single cities can have different rates, but they are not applied to individuals, only to companies.
Now coming to the taxes... You asked for taxes and then talked about medicare and social security..thats comparing apples and pears. The systems are completely different.
Now to the taxes: if you want to have a Chance of understanding you need tomunderstand the german income tax system. We have a progressive system, meaning you have a avarage tax Rate, and a marginal tax rate.
Here you see the tax rates at different incomes:
Explanation:blue line is marginal tax rate, red line is avarage tax Rate.
Coming now tonthr avarage German.
The avarage German makes 49.200 (i really take the avarage income, not thr Median one we germans normally use for comparison)
If you make 49.200 your marginal tax rate is about 39%. Your Avarage tax rate is at 23,6%.
Making an example: single 30years, member of a church, no kids:
-673 Income Tax
-54 church tax
-322 health insurance
-77 care insurance
-381 pension insurance
-49 unemployment insurance
=2544 net income (all the insurances are mandatory)
In English, one does not compare apples with pears but apples with oranges.
In either case, the comparison is limping.
But remember, not everything that limps is a comparison.
Actually, Church tax is different per state - so I guess we do have different taxes per state in some cases, haha.
And it’s not mandatory
Well, it is kind of mandatory if you want to be part of a church organization, but yeah - you can opt out.
Most of the immigrants are not even able to… as they don’t know German. A least in the beginning. A lot of people paying just because they were asked: are you catholic? I believe most of the young people in Germany are opting out of this church payment.
> it is kind of mandatory if you want to be part of a church organization
There are also other factors that you need to consider as well. There are 6 tax "classes", depending on your individual situation. These determine how much of your income is withheld from your pay. (At the end of the year, when you file your tax return, you'll likely get a refund instead of having to pay a tax bill).
A higher tax class means that you'll keep more every month, but likely have to pay some difference at the end of the year.
Tax classes don't affect the income tax, just the wage tax, which is essentially a down payment for the income tax.
You can't save taxes with your taxation class, you can affect if you get a tax return or have to pay taxes to the tax administration at the end of the year however. In the end taxation classes are a decision of when to pay taxes, not how much.
@OP you also forgot payroll taxes, which are essentially income taxes that your employer pays to US government proportional to how much they pay you in salary.
People like to say "that's a cost to my employer, not me" but that's not functionally true. Your employer thinks, "I need 1 person to help me do X"; and then with the money allocated to that purpose..some goes to you directly, some goes to you indirectly via benefits, and the government takes their cut.
Payroll taxes, income taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, federal/state unemployment insurance - Most people have no idea what they would be making in a zero tax scenario, and thus don't truly understand their actual tax rate. If they knew, they'd be pissed that they aren't getting medical care for it, given all of Europe and Canada are offering citizens medical care for comparable tax rates.
Oh, don't forget the sales taxes which can be quite a bit in some states, even without a "VAT." for instance, between my state, county, and city, I pay 9.95% on all purchases from milk to clothes to eating out. No groceries are exempt here either.
Even if I buy something online, they must withhold those same taxes. If I leave the state and buy something that is to be consumed back home, I owe that same 9.95% as a consumption tax, and not declaring the purchases and paying it would be considered tax fraud.
I’m confused, is the marginal tax rate what you are expected to pay or is it a guideline? Is the average tax what people actually pay?
We have a progressive tax rate, the marginal rate is what you pay in the bracket your salary puts you in, but for the part of your salary in the lower brackets you will be charged the lower amount, hence the average.
As an example (not real figures):
Your salary is 50k EUR, and at that income, your marginal tax rate is 40%.
Your first 10k are untaxed (= 0 EUR)
The next 10k are taxed at 10% (1k EUR).
The next 10k are taxed at 20% (2k EUR).
The last 20k are taxed at 40% (8k EUR).
So in total you'd pay 11k on a 50k salary, meaning 22% average tax.
Again this is with fictional numbers for understanding only, but I hope you get the idea.
Marginal by no means is a guideline. Taxes are set, and fix. They are taken out of the paycheck (at source) and that's it.
Thank you, you explained it very well. I see that your income is divided and taxed accordingly based on where it lies on your tax bracket whereas in the U.S. it is a flat percentage of your income based on a static bracket. What is the benefit between dividing it up and just flat taxing the income?
No, your information on the US tax system is incorrect. The US also does marginal tax rates. It is not a flat percentage of your income based on static brackets. It's not worded as elegantly as the person who you're replying to did, but [Forbes has a table indicating the exact same concept.](https://www.forbes.com/advisor/taxes/taxes-federal-income-tax-bracket/)
A lot of Germans also think that you pay the tax rate for the highest bracket on your whole income which is wrong. Then they get ideas like: I cannot accept the pay raise because it will put me in a higher tax bracket.
Moving to Germany I based my entire tax calculations on the tax bracket and not average tax… phew early Christmas!
haha happy christmas bro
This is why I try to explain that “getting bumped into the next tax bracket” isn’t a bad thing. It’s only that extra amount that is taxed at the higher rate. To be fair, I think the US intentionally makes taxes confusing though.
>To be fair, I think the US intentionally makes taxes confusing though.
Well the tax software companies do lobby congress....
Good point. Gotta love it!
So people with small income and who are already struggleling to survive won’t pay the same percentage of taxes like big earners.
If you only earn like 12000€ a year (which is already really hard), and you would need to pay 24% taxes, you wouldn’t have much to live of. With our progressive system these people pay nearly no taxes at all, just a bit, if at all.
Except they also pay 19% sales tax on many of their purchases.
Because anything else leads to absurd results.
If you have tax brackets and don't do marginal tax, shit gets weird.
For example, if there were a 10% tax in the bracket up to 20k, and a 20% tax in the bracket up to 30k, and you earn 19999, you would pay \~2000 in taxes and take home \~18000. If you earned 21000 instead (and are thus taxed at 20%), you would pay 4200 in taxes and take home 16800. So earning more would make you earn less.
Since that kind of system is stupid and absurd, pretty much every country does marginal taxes.
You are wrong about your own tax system. US has tax brackets not all of your money is taxed at a flat rate.
This seems to be wrong. I can give you my own example.
When i was student (tax free monthly limit was 400eur). In my hiwi i earning about 395eur brutto and netto. I increased my hours, my brutto went up to around 412eur, and my netto went down to around 390eur. So when your tax bracket changes, it changes for the whole ammount not for just the exceeding ammount.
That's a different case altogether. You moved from student to employee status by crossing the threshold, which means you have to pay social insurance.
I assure you that you didn't pay anything in taxes.
The tax rate depends on you income. With more income your tax rate is higher. Up until around 10k EUR you pay no tax. That’s the so called “Grundfreibetrag” and means a little amount of annual income that is not taxed. From around 10k the tax rate gradually risers up to 42% at around 53k annual income. Then the rate keeps this high until about 253k taxable income. There the rate jumps to a steady 45%. The tax is calculated in a way, that everyone benefits from the lower tax rates on the lower incomes. So even if you have over 253k taxable income you will benefit from the 10k “Grundfreibetrag” where no tax is charged and the lower tax rates leading to your peak tax rate of 45%. Therefore your average tax rate is still lower. For example for 255k taxable income there would be 97,963 EUR taxes due in 2021. That’s an average tax rate of around 38.42 % for someone with this income. The higher your income the more of it is under a higher tax rate so your tax rate increases until you reach a full 45%, where you would need a whole lot of income for.( I don’t know how much)
The social insurance are paid separately. They have a steady rate that I don’t know now and I can’t look it up because I’m on vacation atm. And I can’t explain the Social insurances without a little more research.
On the following site you can see a graph of the income tax rates. The upper graph shows the peak income tax rate, while the lower graph shows the average income tax rate at the same amount of income. I couldn’t look up any statistics on how the average German tax rate is, but this way you at least know how high the tax can go.
Thank you. Very interesting, are you saying that the tax rate between 14% and 42% is dynamic instead of set static brackets?
Exactly. Only the brackets of 42 and 45% are static.
Very interesting, it’s essentially adaptive right? Makes sense as not everyone’s circumstances are the same. I’m now even more intrigued about the German tax system. I’m also very fond of your gun laws, I might make a post about that.
Taxes are devided in income and social taxes (insurance).
Basically, the more you earn, the more you pay.
Kids and family lower your tax.
Once you earn enough you can decide to switch to private health insurance which is a flat amount and not bases on % of your income. Pension insurance (state) is also capped to a certain amount.
Health insurance also is devided into employer and employee shares. Which makes your "real" income about 16% higher than you see in income reoprts as your employer pays for you.
>and not bases on % of your income
Even in public health insurance, this is only up to a certain % (ie capped contribution level).
Health insurance is also capped? always thought only pansion is capped by two times median income
Beitragsbemessungsgrenze KV und PV: 58.050€
Beitragsbemessungsgrenze AV und RV (West): 84.600€
It works the same way as the US federal income tax. It is not your entire income that falls into one tax bracket, but your income “fills up” the various tax brackets.
For example, consider the following tax brackets:
| % | bracket |
| 10% | $0 – $10,000|
| 12% | $10,001 – $40,000 |
| 22% | $40,001 – $85,000 |
| 37% | > $85,000
Here's how tax brackets **do not** work, neither in the US nor in Germany:
* FALSE: Peter makes $40,000. He falls in the 12% bracket and has to pay $4,800 in tax, leaving a net income of $35,200
* FALSE: Mary makes $40,001. She falls into the 22% bracket and has to pay $8,800 in tax, leaving a net income of $31,201
This leads to the mistaken assumption that earning more would make you “fall into a higher bracket”, drastically increasing your tax load.
Here's how it **actually works**:
* Peter makes $40,000.
* the tax on the first $10,000 is 10%, so $1,000
* the tax on the next $30,000 is 12%, so $3,600
* total tax: $4,600, leaving a net income of $35,400
* Mary makes $40,001
* the tax on the first $10,000 is 10%, so $1,000
* the tax on the next $30,000 is 12%, so $3,600
* the tax on the next $1 is 22%, so $0
* total tax: $4,600, leaving a net income of $35,401
So only additional income in the next bracket is taxed at a higher marginal tax rate, barely increasing your average tax rate. Every additional $ earned is more $ you take home.
The main difference between the US and DE systems is the tax bracket table. For example, DE has a 0% tax in the first bracket, and reaches the highest tax bracket much earlier.
While income tax itself obeys the rule “more gross income → more net income”, this doesn't quite hold in practice due to interaction with social security payments + benefits. Both Germany and the US have such problems. For example in the US, people lose eligibility for SNAP if they cross an income threshold.
Fantastic explanation latkde
No, I am saying your first 10k earned (roughly) is taxed at 10%. The next 30k (roughly) is taxed at 12%.
Is the Grundfreibetrag of 10K automatically taken into account by your employer for the paycheck withholding or do you have to claim that yourself during the Steuererklärung the following year?
The lohnsteuer calculation takes into account the Grundfreibetrag, the payed insurance from your salary, and some fixed cost amounts that you can get by law.
For example there is the so called „Webungskostenpauschbetrag“ that lower your taxable income by 1.200 (was at 1.000 EUR up to last year). In your tax return you can add your costs to lower your taxable income. For someone in employment they are called Werbungskosten and the law gives you a fixed amount of 1.200 EUR for the tax calculation that you don’t need to give any evidence for. You can make a tax return with your real costs, but you will only get tax back, if your costs go over the fixed 1.200 eur that you already had accounted for beforehand. If you only put 500 eur of Werbungskosten in your tax return the Finanzamt will automatically take the fixed 1.200 eur for your tax return.
(On the following part I’m not sure if I’m fully correct) What you need to keep in mind is, that the lohnsteuer is calculated with the thought in mind, that you have the same payment every month, so even when you get 3.000 eur per month in November and December, you will pay lohnsteuer on it, because the calculation is done in a way that you pay 1/12 of the tax that would be due when you had 12 times 3.000 eur. In this case a tax return would help you get back all the payed lohnsteuer because your taxable income (2* 3,000 - 1.200 - insurance and some other stuff) is lower than the Grundfreibetrag so there would be no tax due in the tax return and they would pay back all the lohnsteuer you payed beforehand.
Overall when you are in employment a tax return is only worth it when you have a lot of costs that aren’t covered by the fixed amounts you get by the law. As Werbungskosten you can only deduct costs that are caused or connected to your employment in a relatively direct way. If there is any chance that the costs were for yourself/ to support your overall life, then they may be covered elsewhere in the tax calculation (for example medical costs as „außergewöhnliche Belastungen“ or donations to charitable/ non-profit organisations as „Sonderausgaben“).
Typical Werbungskosten would be the costs to get to your work (train fees and such, you can calculate this with a flat rate as well (km work to home * 30 ct * amount of days driving to work) the flat rate works with a car as well - this is mostly worth it when you have a long way to work). Other pretty impactful Werbungskosten are travelling costs, if you did travel for your job (travel has a broad definition in this case - every trip to places that are not your main workplace are considered a journey). You have to keep in mind, that when your employer pays you money to account for the costs for travel or something else, then this needs to be declared in your tax return as well. Only costs that your employer didn’t pay you back are lowering your income compared to the lohnsteuer calculation.
I have gone way to far with this.
Tldr: yes your employer takes the Grundfreibetrag into account
Just to be clear medicare and so on is NOT a tax but an insurance. So if you like to compare to the USA you need to include your health insurance, insurance for being umemployed, insurance for nursery home.
Yes you are right. Average health insurance is 500 per month so that’s 6,000 per year taken off or around 10% “tax” added to to the average income. I didn’t include it because some people don’t pay it as it is usually paid by your employer but in the circumstance that it isn’t that would mean that the average American is paying 49.55% of their income which is obscene.
No, they aren’t. You make very many simplifying assumptions and fundamentally don’t understand the progressive tax structure
You are confused about the US tax system tbh. Federal income taxes are quite progressive. About half of Americans don't pay any federal income tax and a significant number have a negative tax liability - meaning they get money from the federal government rather than paying. (This is generally low-income people with children). Everyone pays payroll taxes and sales tax. And most pay a state tax.
There is no direct state income tax.
Instead, the federal income tax is split among the federal government, the states and the counties / municipalities based upon population.
Compared to the numbers you gave, our social security contributions are way higher. Half of it is paid by the employer and the other half by the employee, that is the only way the contributions are bearable. Public health insurance is around 14% plus a certain surcharge, 7.3 % is paid by the employer and the other half by them employee. There is care insurance for old age, which is around 3% total, paid proportionally by the employer and by the employee with a surcharge for anybody who does not have children.
There are mandatory public pension payments, again employer pays 9.3 % and the employee another 9.3%. Then there are payments for unemployment insurance, employer pays 1.2 % and employee another 1.2%.
Median income is 3000 EUR per month before taxes and social welfare contributions. You can play around with [https://www.brutto-netto-rechner.info/gehalt/gehaltsrechner-arbeitgeber.php](https://www.brutto-netto-rechner.info/gehalt/gehaltsrechner-arbeitgeber.php) to get a feeling for how things work.
The lowest income brackets (up to 1600 EUR per month IIRC) only pay social welfare contributions but no income taxes.
Thank you for this in-depth response I really I appreciate it. I did forget to mention that the Medicare and Social Security are also split between employer and employee with Medicare and Social Security being 2.7% split and 12.40% split between employer and employee respectively. But you are right your social contributions are much higher.
Personally, I really like it that social contributions are much higher.
Compared to the US, the higher payments for public health insurance make a big difference in the financial stability of middle-class people. You don't have to worry about an unforeseen medical expense that might bankrupt you. Health insurance is not tied to your employer. You don't have to worry about losing your insurance when you get too sick to work and you are not dependent upon the insurance your employer chooses. Your insurance is your choice and there are rules on what public health insurances must cover. There are no huge co-pays and out of pocket maximums.
To really compare salaries in Germany vs salaries in the USA, you have to take into account what people pay for health insurance.
The youtuber who runs "Black Forest Family" did a comparision using herself as example.
You don’t understand US taxes. Only the portion of income within the third bracket is taxed at that rate, not your whole income
The website you sent me is in German. I unfortunately do not speak German, sorry.
I can and I probably will tomorrow but I hope you understand that when I google something in the US, German results will not pop up so no google is not down.
If you are acting like a dick, at least be correct about it. German taxes are NOT the same everywhere, gonk. Get your nonsense in order. Those calculators ask for a reason where you live. Small differences are differences nonetheless.
The first result I got was the OECD report but I didn’t initially google that. I googled “Germany tax rate” which said average was between 14% to 42% that’s why I just decided to ask.
Damn dude is this your first time on a computer or what? Chrome automatically translates pages for you. Just use that. Also it’s super annoying when people ask questions but show that they’re so lazy they haven’t even done the most basic things to help themselves learn.
In OP’s defence they literally posted in r/AskAGerman. Asking a somewhat Google-able but otherwise benign question hardly warrants this rude little meltdown.
Showing an unwillingness to help yourself just sucks though, people are helping him and giving him the info he’s asking after, but since no one is spoon feeding it to him he’s complaining
Sharing a link to a tax calculator in German without giving any context on the average German salary or technicalities like the tax implications of living in different states, church tax, the tax-free allowance, statutory vs private health insurance etc. and then flipping out when the poorly Google translated non-results don’t resonate doesn’t come across as particularly helpful to me.
But hey, Berliner Schnauze amirite? 🤷♀️
It sure is a good thing this wasn’t the only comment on the thread, huh?
Yes, lucky OP!
There's the [taxpayer remembrance day ](https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp2.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/steuerzahlergedenktag-rechnen-sie-hier-aus-ab-wann-sie-in-die-eigene-tasche-arbeiten/28501476.html): According to the Taxpayers' Association, the burden of levies and taxes rose to 53 (Singles 53.9%) percent. From 13th July 2022 onwards taxpayers finally could keep their money for themselves.
The OECD taxing wages report said the tax wedge for the average single worker was at 48.1% in 2021 (second highest after Belgium). This data basically only is about income tax and social security contributions.
Taxes are a lot here, close to 50%. However, it’s not comparable to the US because the wages are adjusted to make up for it and the cost of living is manageable. I’m an American living in Germany and I have just as much financial freedom here that I did in the US. I also don’t have to fear getting injured or any type of medical expense because of the high taxes. So if you consider it that way, I’m even more financially stable here.
> wages are adjusted
Umm what? Wages are pretty low in Germany compared to America
I mean that the gross money you make is higher so that the net pay isn’t as minimal. Counting in cost of living and other fees and stuff that comes out, it evens out. I’m not saying there is a direct adjustment that Germans do to match their income to Americans. That wouldn’t make any sense, obviously.
What career field are you in that pays you a higher gross than when you were in the states?
Hi OP, maybe it’s clearer this way: I pay 48% of each paycheck for taxes and insurance. It’s easier to combine them to understand the portion of your money which funds the different gov streams. It’s a hard swallow each time.
If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you make per year?
I don’t feel comfortable answering that but what I can say is that there are different tax levels (brackets) and I pay the most (48%) but earn the least, while still a very healthy sum! However, my partner earns the most and pays a smaller tax level. The idea is to balance out your take home vs. responsibilities. It’s why your question of “average Germans pay for taxes” is a bit challenging. Hope this helps!
No worries and yeah after reading some of the replies I have realized it is a difficult question to quantify considering how many variables are required to factor in. 48% is what someone who makes $523,000 in the U.S. would pay in total “taxes” per se as it includes social security etc. Thank you for your input it definitely helped.
So first of all you are paying 2 things. Insurrance and Tax. The Insurances are fixed .
In Germany there are different Tax Classes. 1 up to 6. 1 for example are Single people with no Child. 2 is for Parents without a Husband/wife, 3-5 is more relegant for Married Couples. And 6 is on a second job.
The Amount of taxes you have to pay effectively is measured by your yearly Income (before taxes).
it can go from 14% (lowest starts at 12.000 per year, everything below is tax free) up to 42% (from i think 58.000 per year up)
And thats a little of a Problem
Cause. Most Single People with no Children can get fucked hard by that system. for them it can happen that if they get a bonus, they have to pay so much more taxes, that they got less than before. Most of this people between an monthly income from 2000 to 2700 dont care at all about extra 100€ or something. cause they are mostly are totally eaten by taxes and insurrance..
In Statistics: German People Work 7 out of 12 Months for the German States Money.
So at the Moment i earn like 2400€. per Month. after paying all of taxes and Insurrances (done automaticly) iam at 1690€ that i get into my bank account.
so iam paying like 250€ pure taxes. And 480 for Insurrances like: medcare and so on.
Here is the fucked up thing. iam at 2400 before taxes at 1690 Net.
if i want to get 2000€ per Month Net.
I have to earn 3100€ bedore Taxes.
So 310€ more in bank needs 700 more in earnings.
That means: every second € is going to the state
Thats why i said most singlea in class 1 between 2000 and 2700 dont care about one hundred more or less
It's not possible to get a bonus and get less net at the end (based only on tax and insurance). That's not how our tax system works at all.
Happens everytime with overtime
It is possible. Happened to me twice. Cause base Loan was on the line to the higher Tax rate. Than got a Bonus of like 200€ and had to pay more percentages at tax wich made my net lower. It can happen
No. Additional money doesn't change the rate the other money is taxed at. Also we don't really have lines to higher tax rates (the "reichensteuer" excluded), but each Euro is taxed at a slightly higher rate than the one before up to the max.
Ahh I see. So you are taxed based on your total income but if you receive a bonus you can jump into the next bracket and get taxed even more? I’m pretty sure in the U.S. it’s the same but they are many ways to evade that such as depositing that check in a business account meaning you only pay the flat 20% corporate tax rate. I do not condone tax evasion however…
This is not how any of this works at ALL. Please arm yourself with a little Googled knowledge about your owns country's tax system before posting. You are misinforming those who might read this and not fact check.
I’ll change it right now.
first: yes exactly. second. nit that easy in Germany. Cause they are smelling you Money, even if its in Switzerland or Malta or Ireland..
Here the IRS knows they just don’t care.
in germany you can walk straight up to jail for several years.
>Ahh I see. So you are taxed based on your total income but if you receive a bonus you can jump into the next bracket and get taxed even more?
No. This is completely wrong.
I haven't gotten taxed for years and years and got all the bread crumbs that were taken out of my income handed back, lol.
Tax saving pro tip: Don't earn enough to get taxed \*tips forehead\*
^(Not counting retirement, health and unemployement, because they are no taxes. But these, of course, I have paid.)
^(Keep in mind that while Germany is a federal state, it is in most regards probably more stream lined than the US. YOu can not have different criminal codes in different states, for example, let alone things like one state having punishment a) ^(and one having punishment a) and b) on the books, as it happens with the death "penalty" in the US.))
It's a little outdated, but more or less gives you the idea. The graph is for UK and Germany. Black line represents two working married and green not married.
To those numbers one has to add obligatory insurances, like health, retirement, disability.
Here little up to date:
Calculated from my last income last month: All in all (so income taxes, chruch tax, health care, retirement insurance, unemployment insurance and caretaking insurance all together) I pay as someone not married about 30 %.
Income tax depends on your "Steuerklasse" (tax class) mostly. SK1 is the norm (I fall under), married is either SK3 or 5 (one of them pays less than the other, so the one earning more gets the SK where they pay less. I forgot rn what SK 2 and 4 are and SK6 is for second jobs where you pay the most taxes. the exact rate is also based on your income itself. you get a higher tax rate if you earn more.
Put your details in the Bruno app and see for yourself how much you will get taxed.
I am surprised that so many tax experts are on Reddit.
For me, it's "roughly" the same as living in a high-tax state like California. Slightly more but not really much different. I expected a bigger difference.
I will say I was surprised at how much I have to pay for health insurance here. In California I had employer-subsidized health insurance, but still I paid about $900/mo to cover the entire family on my plan.
In Germany, the rest of the family is on my spouse's plan, which is pretty much covered by the employer, but since I still work remotely in the US, I cannot be - so I have to pay out of pocket about $900/mo here too, just for myself to be on the public (Gesetzliches) health plan. It ain't no free healthcare here if you earn money, I can tell you that. That said, you pay pennies on the dollar in comparison, if you actually get treated in a hospital or something.
One thing that is overlooked in the US are often crazy property taxes in the US that never enter these discussions? These can easily be $3-16K annually in many places.
As explained here, taxes needs to be differentiated between business and private person:
\- "regional taxes"
\- Only Government Taxes
\- Church tax (depending on region)
Now we add the complication to this, Tax Classes
\- "Equal/Unequal" tax share
\- Deducts for children
The German Tax system is a mess, and a lot of really intelligent people who tried to change the system are now in mental health institutes.
It's been a few years since I've calculated it, but my total tax was 39% in 2018 or so. That includes health insurance, pension, unemployment protection. That was for a married man without kids, both making slightly above average wages. Married as a single income pays less tax, and if you have kids you pay even less tax.
There is no additional state tax, but there is an additional "tax" where wealth is redistributed in Germany. This tax can also be negative though, so if you live in a low income state, you actually get paid from this tax. It's very small though, I think I pay about 1% in Bavaria, or maybe even less.
The second paragraph is complete BS. You probably mean the Solidaritätszuschlag, which is the same everywhere and not tied to any purpose (but was introduced to rebuild eastern Germany) but what you describe is the Länderfinanzausgleich, which is no tax and nothing an individual directly profits from.
Well there is the problem. You need to separate taxes from health insurance/pension/unemployment protection. These are two different things.
So much of your assumptions are incorrect Biggums. As others have pointed out the US is bracketed which means that the income that falls within that bracket is taxed at the bracket's rate. So sure, this guy that 55k falls within the 22% bracket but most of his income is taxed at 12%. The US has what it calls an effective tax rate. You take the taxes paid and divide by income. So this guy would be effectively taxed at 14%. But wait, now you have to factor in the standard deduction. Now lop off 12,900 of his income and do the math again. Now it is down to 8.7%. That doesnt take into account any other tax credits this person might be eligible for. Also, of the top 10 states with the highest state income, the state in 10th place is only at 7+% so i don't know where you are getting 9.9. There are myriad other things that should be factored in such as sales tax. Sales tax in Europe is nearly double what it is in the states with the highest sales tax. I think it is called MWST in Germany and it clocks in at 19%. You buy a car nearly 20% of that is taxes. New cell...19%. Trust me when I say that if you took your salary into the EU you would be paying double what you are paying now. Finally take any profession and look up the average salary in Germany and the average salary in the US. The US pays more. Now take about half of all that savings and go to your states healthcare exchange and buy some health insurance if you aren't covered. Now if the US could take half of the average German's thriftiness and work ethic no one in the states would be destitute. The US has it great, not good. And they don't appreciate any of it.