Tax Facts

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #1

Department of Economics
April 1, 2014

Despite arguments by tax protestors that the 16th Amendment, which authorizes personal income taxes, is invalid, the courts have repeatedly ruled it constitutional. Many of the tax protestors can be found in jail.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #2

Department of Economics
April 2, 2014

Most taxpayers owe more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. Only the top 10 percent of taxpaying households owe more in income taxes.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #3

Department of Economics
April 3, 2014

The "Buffet Rule," named for billionaire investor Warren Buffet, is a principle for tax reform that has been advocated by President Obama. It is the principle that millionaires should pay as high an average tax as middle-income people. This is not currently the case in the United States - Mr. Buffet pays about 15% of his income as taxes, while his secretary pays closer to 30%.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #4

Department of Economics
April 4, 2014

When compared to other developed countries, the United States collects very little in consumption taxes like the retail sales tax.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #5

Department of Economics
April 5, 2014

In 1898 one of the major sources of revenue for the United States was a tax on chewing gum.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #6

Department of Economics
April 6, 2014

The New Deal launched by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933 was expensive. About 1/3 of it was paid for through alcohol taxes, thanks to the repeal of prohibition, also in 1933.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #7

Department of Economics
April 7, 2014

If you find $20 on the street and pick it up, you're supposed to pay taxes on it.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #8

Department of Economics
April 8, 2014

Barter income is taxable.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #9

Department of Economics
April 9, 2014

If you catch a baseball during a baseball game and keep the ball you have to pay taxes on the value of that ball. However, if you give it back to the player, you have to pay taxes on the ball and a gift tax for giving it back.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #10

Department of Economics
April 10, 2014

The United States actually has a very high compliance rate for taxes paid. The approximately 83% tax compliance rate is one of the highest in the world - some argue that it is the highest.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #11

Department of Economics
April 11, 2014

The Boston tea party wasn't about high taxes, but low taxes. Tea smugglers had been making a lot of money selling black-market tea due to high taxes. When the British got rid of the tax smugglers could no longer make a profit. Pushing the tea into the harbor helped drive up prices again.

- James Hines

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #12

Department of Economics
April 12, 2014

Tax evasion has been a problem for millennia. Romans would bury jewels and gold to avoid luxury taxes, and 18th century English homeowners would brick over their fireplaces to avoid paying taxes on it.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #13

Department of Economics
April 13, 2014

In 2010, 85% of individual income tax returns provided a refund. The average quantity refunded was $3,000.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #14

Department of Economics
April 14, 2014

Tax revenues are at their lowest level as a share of GDP in more than fifty years.

- Joel Slemrod in Taxes in America

Countdown to Tax Day Fact #15

Department of Economics
April 15, 2014

Some years Tax Day is pushed back due to D.C.'s Emancipation Day. In 2012 Tax Day was April 17th, and in 2016 Tax Day will be April 18th. However, this year's deadline is today!

- www.timeanddate.com