24 Outrageous Facts About Taxes In The United States

open quote1 – 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 1,999 different 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.

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 pay approximately 86 percent of all federal income taxes.

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.

19 – In 1950, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue. In 2012, corporate taxes will account for less than 7 percent of all federal revenue.

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  1. Roman,

    You are blowing the ‘Liberal’ or Socialist horn…

    Ther article said, “What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.”

    The real question is should corporations pay taxes at all? There are two things about corporate profits. First, they belong to the shareholders, yes? And if they have some profits that are not immediately paid in dividends, they are uses to expand the business which does what? Create jobs, yes? Helps economic growth?

    You would be better served by pointing to the hypocrisy of the comment. You need to illustrate the comments anti libertarian tone.

    Ah! No rest for the overworked.

    Ed K

  2. Gee, you sound too much like me, except I refer to: ‘EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal.’

    Ed K

    Comment from a sailing board:
    Now know that Obama has accomplished
    two things:
    First, Obama has made it fashionable to resent
    success rather than strive for it, and
    Second, he has managed to raise new barriers
    to success for those few trying while creating
    incentives for those who don’t.
    Rhode Island Don

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