Today we will learn about different types of taxes in the United States. The government raises money we call Revenue by collecting different types of taxes. We will start with income tax. Income tax is tax taken from the income or money an individual or business earns. In 1913 the sixteenth amendment gave the federal government the power to levy an income tax, “levy”, means to collect.
Individuals pay personal income tax which is usually taken directly out of their paychecks this method of taking money directly from a person’s paycheck is called withholding, by automatically withholding the tax money from a person’s paycheck, it makes it easier for individuals to pay their taxes and for the government to collect taxes when income tax is due in April of each year most people only owe a little extra money or may even get a refund.
If too much money was withheld businesses pay something called corporate income tax this tax is based on their annual profits both personal and corporate income taxes are progressive meaning the more an individual or business earns the more money they pay in taxes. Each year the federal government depends on income taxes for about 50% of its total revenue The second type of tax we will learn about today is property tax. Property tax is tax paid on property, most commonly real estate, like land and houses but sometimes on other types of expensive property like jewelry or cars.
To determine how much tax should be levied on a particular piece of property, the government sends out an Assessor to examine the property’s worth, they take into account size, location, reference materials, and past experience when determining a property’s value a percentage of that value is levied as property tax. Property taxes are the primary source of revenue for local governments. The next type of tax we will learn about today is sales tax, sales tax is a tax on the sale of products sales tax is paid when you buy something and the business you purchased your goods from sends that money to the government there are two types of sales tax general sales tax and excise taxes.
General sales tax is a tax levied on most Goods you buy Excise taxes are taxes levied only on certain items for example, many states have excise taxes in the form of gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, and alcohol taxes, due to the nature of the items they are levied on, excise taxes are sometimes referred to as “sin taxes”. Almost every state levies a sales tax and many local governments do too. The fourth type of tax we will study today is called an estate tax.
An estate tax is a tax on property or money left behind when a person dies, an estate is all the money and property that belongs to a person and currently, if a person dies and leaves behind an estate valued at five million four hundred and ninety thousand dollars or more the federal government may levy an estate tax and take a portion, which brings us to the fifth type of tax we will study today, the gift tax. Currently if you give a gift of more than $14,000 per year you must pay the federal government and sometimes your state governments a percentage.
The sixth type of tax is the Social Security tax, Established in 1935, Social Security provides income to elderly people and people who are permanently disabled. It is funded by a 15-point 3% tax, that is paid by employees and their employers this is another tax that is taken directly out of your paycheck. The next type of tax is the Medicare tax Medicare is a health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, the Medicare tax is also taken from your paycheck.
The final type of taxes we will study today are tariffs tariffs are taxes on imported goods, import means to bring in goods from another country many products sold in the United States are made in other countries for a lower price and then shipped here. to encourage businesses to sell American-made products sometimes the federal government charges these companies tariffs on the foreign goods they import aside from taxes the federal government raises revenue in a variety of other ways. for example; oftentimes the government owns land that it no longer needs or uses sometimes they will sell this property, but usually they will rent or lease this land to make more money in the long term.
The federal government may owns land that contains mines or oil they can rent or lease this land to companies that want to dig mines or drill for oil and make more money in the long term than mining or drilling that land themselves the government also raises revenue by charging tolls to use certain roads, and fees for things like driver’s licenses, fines for things like littering also raise money for the government, as do state lotteries.
State and local governments raise anywhere from nine to forty seven percent of their revenue from non tax sources like these, however, the federal government gets less than two percent of its revenue from these sources. Uses of revenue; when the government spends tax dollars we call these expenditures there are two main categories of government expenditures; the first is the purchase of goods and services, this includes things like defense, or the military highways, jails etc.
The second type of government expenditure is called a transfer payment. Transfer payments are made to individuals; examples of transfer payments include: welfare payments, Social Security payments, and unemployment compensation, another type of transfer payment is called a subsidy, subsidies are money provided by the government for programs meant to benefit the public, for example Boys & Girls Clubs of America are programs that provide quality after-school activities for children in the United States and they are partially funded by the federal government. The complete federal budget is hundreds of pages long and is made up of thousands of these two types of expenditures because of the many types of taxes the federal government collects, they are able to provide these services.