It's Tax Day. Every year, the American people spend about $30 billion on accountants and software to file their taxes. That's on top of taxes themselves. Approximately 26 percent of the average American's income is collected, in some form or another, in taxes. This includes all forms of taxation, such as state and local taxes, as well as federal. If we look at just federal taxation, that still comes to a very respectable 16 to 18 percent (on average) of GDP. But how does that all break down when it comes to federal taxation? Are the poor really getting bent over the taxation barrel every April? Are the rich not really paying their "fair share"? And how did we even get to this point? Join Antony Davies and James Harrigan as they discuss this and more on this week's Tax Day edition of Words and Numbers.
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Topic of the Week: Federal Taxes
|Bottom 20%||Next 20%||Middle 20%||Next 20%||Top 20%||Top 1%|
|Labor Income as % of Market Income||36%|
|Average Effective Tax Rate on Before-Tax Income||3%||8%||13%||17%||26%|
|Average Effective Rate on Market Income||-56%||-39%||-15%||3%||23%||34%|
“Market Income” = income from voluntary activities
“Before-Tax Income” = market income plus government transfers
“Federal Taxes” = all monies paid to the federal government
“Transfers” = cash and in-kind payments from the federal government to people not made in exchange for goods or services
“After-Tax Income” = before tax income minus federal taxes
“Average Effective Tax Rate on Before-Tax Income” = federal taxes divided by before-tax income
“Average Effective Tax Rate on Market Income” = (federal taxes - transfers)/market income
The top 1 percent earns 20 percent of all income but pays almost 40 percent of all federal taxes.
Country comparison of tax revenue from all levels of government per GDP
US = 26 percent; Denmark = 45 percent; Ireland = 22 percent.
This ignores borrowing. If government taxed enough to balance budget, US would be at 31 percent, putting it on par with Canada.
Overview of federal taxes
60 percent of US households receive more money back from the federal government than they pay
How taxes and transfers trap the poor
The income tax was originally a tax on the rich.
Number of pages in the Standard Federal Tax Reporter
Fun tax facts
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