The following are 24 outrageous facts about taxes in the United States that will blow your mind….
1 – The U.S. tax code is now 3.8 million words long. If you took all of William Shakespeare’s works and collected them together, the entire collection would only be about 900,000 words long.
2 – According to the National Taxpayers Union, U.S. taxpayers spend more than 7.6 billion hours complying with federal tax requirements. Imagine what our society would look like if all that time was spent on more economically profitable activities.
3 – 75 years ago, the instructions for Form 1040 were two pages long. Today, they are 189 pages long.
4 – There have been 4,428 changes to the tax code over the last decade. It is incredibly costly to change tax software, tax manuals and tax instruction booklets for all of those changes.
5 – According to the National Taxpayers Union, the IRS currently has 1,999different publications, forms, and instruction sheets that you can download from the IRS website.
6 – Our tax system has become so complicated that it is almost impossible to file your taxes correctly. For example, back in 1998 Money Magazine had 46 different tax professionals complete a tax return for a hypothetical household. All 46 of them came up with a different result.
7 – In 2009, PC World had five of the most popular tax preparation software websites prepare a tax return for a hypothetical household. All five of them came up with a different result.
8 – The IRS spends $2.45 for every $100 that it collects in taxes.
10 – When the U.S. government first implemented a personal income tax back in 1913, the vast majority of the population paid a rate of just 1 percent, and the highest marginal tax rate was just 7 percent.
11 – Residents of New Jersey pay $1.64 in taxes for every $1.00 of federal spending that they get back.
12 – The United States is the only nation on the planet that tries to tax citizens on what they earn in foreign countries.
13 – According to Forbes, the 400 highest earning Americans pay an average federal income tax rate of just 18 percent.
14 – Warren Buffett had an effective tax rate of just 17.4 percent for 2010.
15 – The top 20 percent of all income earners in the United States payapproximately 86 percent of all federal income taxes.
16 – Sadly, as Bill Whittle has shown, you could take every single pennythat every American earns above $250,000 and it would only fund about 38 percent of the federal budget.
17 – The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world (35 percent). In Ireland, the corporate tax rate is only 12.5 percent. This is causing thousands of corporations to move operations out of the United States and into other countries.
18 – Some tax havens are doing a booming business in setting up sham headquarters for U.S. corporations. For example, the city of Zug, Switzerland only has a population of 26,000 people but it is the headquarters for 30,000 companies.
20 – In a previous article, I discussed how many of our largest corporations make huge profits and yet pay less than nothing in taxes….
What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.
The following figures come directly out of a report by Citizens for Tax Justice. These are combined figures for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010.
During those three years, all of the corporations below made a lot of money. Yet all of them paid net taxes that were below zero for those three years combined.
How is that possible? Well, it turns out that instead of paying in taxes to the federal government, they were actually getting money back.
So for these corporations, their rate of taxation was actually below zero.
If you have not seen these before, you are going to have a hard time believing some of these statistics…..
Profits: $4.9 billion
Taxes: -$34 million
Profits: $3 billion
Taxes: -$23 million
Profits: $49.37 billion
Taxes: -$681 million
Profits: $9.7 billion
Taxes: -$178 million
Profits: $32.5 billion
Taxes: -$951 million
Profits: $2.1 billion
Taxes -$72 million
*American Electric Power*
Profits: $5.89 billion
Taxes -$545 million
Profits: $7.7 billion
Taxes: -$4.7 billion
Are you starting to get the picture?
21 – Exxon-Mobil paid $15 billion in taxes in 2009, but not a single penny went to the U.S. government.
22 – Many wealthy Americans hide enormous amounts of money outside the country in order to avoid paying taxes. According to the IMF, a total of 18 trillion dollars is currently being hidden in offshore banks.
23 – The number of traffic accidents spikes each year right around April 15th. The following is from a recent Bloomberg article….
Deaths from traffic accidents around April 15, traditionally the last day to file individual income taxes in the U.S., rose 6 percent on average on each of the last 30 years of tax filing days compared with a day during the week prior and a week later, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
24 – Most of the tax debate is focused on income taxes, but the truth is that Americans pay dozens of other taxes every single year. The following are just a few of the taxes that many Americans pay….
#1 Building Permit Taxes
#2 Capital Gains Taxes
#3 Cigarette Taxes
#4 Court Fines (indirect taxes)
#5 Dog License Taxes
#6 Federal Unemployment Taxes
#7 Fishing License Taxes
#8 Food License Taxes
#9 Gasoline Taxes
#10 Gift Taxes
#11 Hunting License Taxes
#12 Inheritance Taxes
#13 Inventory Taxes
#14 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
#15 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
#16 Liquor Taxes
#17 Luxury Taxes
#18 Marriage License Taxes
#19 Medicare Taxes
#20 Property Taxes
#21 Recreational Vehicle Taxes
#22 Toll Booth Taxes
#23 Sales Taxes
#24 Self-Employment Taxes
#25 School Taxes
#26 Septic Permit Taxes
#27 Service Charge Taxes
#28 Social Security Taxes
#29 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
#30 Telephone Federal Excise Taxes
#31 Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes
#32 Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
#33 Telephone State And Local Taxes
#34 Tire Taxes
#35 Toll Bridge Taxes
#36 Toll Tunnel Taxes
#37 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
#38 Utility Taxes
#39 Vehicle License Registration Taxes
#40 Vehicle Sales Taxes
#41 Workers Compensation Taxes
When you account for all forms of taxation on the federal, state and local levels there are many Americans that pay out more than half of their incomes in taxes.
We are being taxed into oblivion, and yet most Americans do not even realize that it is happening.