Tax Freedom Day -- the day when Americans will have earned enough to pay their total tax bill for the year -- won’t occur until April 18 this year, five days later than last year, according to the nonprofit think tank that compiles it. And American taxpayers will spend more in taxes in 2013 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
To compute Tax Freedom Day, economists at the Tax Foundation divide all federal, state and local taxes by the nation’s income. They use federal budget projections, data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and projections of state and local taxes.
Tax Freedom Day is five days later than last year mainly due to the fiscal cliff deal that raised federal taxes on individual incomes and payroll. In addition, the Affordable Care Act’s investment tax and excise tax went into effect.
If federal borrowing (which represents future taxes owed) is included, Tax Freedom Day would occur on May 9, 21 days later. The latest ever deficit-inclusive day occurred during World War II, on May 12, 1945.
The total tax burden borne by residents of different states varies considerably, due to differing state tax policies and because of the steep progressivity of the federal tax system, which results in higher-income states having a later Tax Freedom Day: Connecticut’s comes on May 13, New York’s on May 6, and New Jersey’s on May 4. At the opposite end are residents of Mississippi and Louisiana, who celebrated their Tax Freedom Day on March 29.
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