TOP-TIER income tax rates in Western nations are rising to eye-watering levels as governments try to combat ballooning deficits.

But Singapore has kept tax rates for its highest earners among the lowest in the Asia-Pacific as it strives to retain its magnet status for global businesses and talent.

These are among the key findings of the latest survey by audit and tax advisory giant KPMG, which has probed individual income taxes and social security rates across 86 countries.

It found that average top-tier tax rates worldwide inched ahead 0.3 per cent to 29.4 per cent this year, reversing seven years of constant declines.
But this marginal average increase masks dramatic hikes in some European Union countries, where citizens already pay the highest income taxes in the world.

Britain increased its top rate by 10 per cent, from 40 to 50 per cent, earlier this year. Ireland's rose by 1 per cent to 47 per cent this year, while Germany remained at 45 per cent.

Income tax rates rise globally