I can almost guarantee that if asked “how much did you pay in taxes last year”, your answer will be off by a mile.
As tax day passes, it seems appropriate to suggest to my readers (all of whom I assume are in the 50% group who pay Federal income taxes) that they reflect on how much the government costs us and our families. I suggest this not to imply that all government and taxes are bad. But we are clearly murderously “over-governed” and “over-taxed”, and it is getting worse every year no matter which party controls our government.
Try building a simple Excel spreadsheet. It can consist of the following, and you can use estimates if needed just to keep the exercise simple and to get an approximate picture of your tax burden:
1. Federal income tax and related taxes (Social Security, Medicaid).
2. State Income tax.
3. City tax.
4. Local school tax
5. Local town/county tax
6. Estimate how much you spent in purchases last year and multiply that by 7.5% (average sales tax nationwide)
7. Estimate miles you’ve driven, divide by the average miles per gallon for your car, and multiply by 69.5 cents (if you live in NY), or 57.6 cents if you live in North Carolina, or see this link to determine what your gas tax is: Gas Tax By State.
8. Estimate air travel expenses and multiply by 20%.
9. Estimate hotel expenses and multiply by 21%. For your rental car, 18%.
10. If you drink or smoke, assume $1.46 in tax for every cigarette pack you purchased, and $6.44 for every gallon of liquor you drink.
11. Estimate your monthly cell phone bills, multiply by 12, and then multiply by the average tax/government fee rate of 22%.
12. One more difficult tax amount to calculate in your spreadsheet but that has a huge impact on us all are corporate income taxes. Arguably all of our products cost us 20-35% more than they otherwise would given our “highest in the world” corporate income taxes. These taxes are not, in the end, paid by these corporations. They are part of the cost of the goods they sell, and therefore find their way into nearly every single product we buy, and are hidden in the purchase price.
Just for your information, below are other taxes we pay depending on our lifestyles and hobbies:
- Accounts Receivable Tax
- Building Permit Tax
- Capital Gains Tax
- CDL license Tax
- Cigarette Tax
- Corporate Income Tax
- Court Fines (indirect taxes)
- Deficit spending
- Dog License Tax
- Federal Income Tax
- Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
- Fishing License Tax
- Food License Tax
- Fuel permit tax
- Gasoline Tax
- Hunting License Tax
- Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
- Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
- IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
- Liquor Tax
- Local Income Tax
- Luxury Taxes
- Marriage License Tax
- Medicare Tax
- Property Tax
- Real Estate Tax
- Septic Permit Tax
- Service Charge Taxes
- Social Security Tax
- Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
- Sales Taxes
- Recreational Vehicle Tax
- Road Toll Booth Taxes
- School Tax
- State Income Tax
- State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
- Telephone federal excise tax
- Telephone federal universal service fee tax
- Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
- Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
- Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
- Telephone state and local tax
- Telephone usage charge tax
- Toll Bridge Taxes
- Toll Tunnel Taxes
- Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
- Trailer Registration Tax
- Utility Taxes
- Vehicle License Registration Tax
- Vehicle Sales Tax
- Watercraft Registration Tax
- Well Permit Tax
- Workers Compensation Tax