Guest Post: How to Prove Benjamin Franklin Wrong About Taxes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by International Man via Casey Research,

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

– Benjamin Franklin

In most cases, Mr. Franklin's statement would be correct. However, as you will see below, there are some countries in the world where you can be certain you won't pay taxes.

With the year 2013 marking the 100th anniversary of the income tax and the Federal Reserve in the US (two of the most powerful tools the government uses to extract wealth), I thought it would be useful to look at when Tax Freedom Day occurs across the world to gain some perspective.

Tax Freedom Day (TFD) is the day of the year that the average person has in theory earned enough money to pay his or her annual tax bill.

If TFD falls on January 1, that means you are a milk cow for ZERO days out of the year for the government. If it falls on June 30, it means you are working 181 days each year to pay off your taxes.

Unfortunately, most of us will spend some time during the year acting as a milk cow in some fashion for a government.

Below is a table showing when TFD hits in the countries within the EU.

The government of Hungary, Belgium, and France are the worst offenders in the EU, keeping their citizens in tax servitude astoundingly until around August each year.

If you are unlucky enough to be in the suffocating grasp of a high-tax jurisdiction, you will likely have only a couple of months of salary (if even that) out of the year that can be potentially utilized as savings after essential living expenses are met.

In the US, TFD comes around April 17. Of course, individual circumstances will vary, and TFD in the US can come a lot later than April 17 for many Americans.

Whether you are American, European, or any other nationality, it doesn't have to be this way. You do not need to be working for the government for a good portion of the year.

It is possible to take steps to internationalize and legally reduce the number of days the government milks you of the fruits of your labor.

Some countries do not have an income tax or essentially any other type of tax that could hit the average individual.

TFD could come on January 1 for you if you have no external obligations and fall under the jurisdiction in any of the countries in the table below.

Countries With No Personal Income Tax
British Virgin Islands
Brunei Darussalam
Cayman Islands
Saudi Arabia
St. Kitts & Nevis
Turks and Caicos
United Arab Emirates

There are many ways to internationalize and legally structure yourself and your business around these and other low-tax countries.

One possibility could involve an American citizen obtaining a second citizenship, then becoming a resident of one of the countries above, and finally renouncing US citizenship in order to obtain a tax-free existence. Of course, this is but one possibility. There are many options with varying degrees of protection.

You could prove Benjamin Franklin wrong – taxes are not necessarily a certainty.

It is still legal and practical to take steps to internationalize, but if history is any guide, it won't be so forever... especially as governments (particularly in the West) become more desperate.

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otto skorzeny's picture

if you add in ALL of the taxes we(the non-47%) in the US pay I'm guessing TFD is about the middle of Aug- or 60% into the year. that is including property tax, sales taxes, utility taxes, taxes on gas, toll road tolls, ad nauseum.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Tax Freedom Day is never....We are still paying hidden taxes on December 31th.

Bosten Tea Party II is overdue.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Tax Freedom Day is never....We are still paying hidden taxes on December 31th.

Tax Freedom Day actually isn't the same day every year. April 15th is chosen as a convenient representation. If your frame of reference begins on January 1st with a zero balance, your Tax Freedom Day would fall on April 15th.....of the following year.

Dr. No's picture

April 15th was chosen since it is as far away from election day as possible.  If tax day was the first Monday of November, there would be no such thing as an incument.

toys for tits's picture


if you add in ALL of the taxes we(the non-47%) in the US pay I'm guessing TFD is about the middle of Aug- or 60% into the year. that is including property tax, sales taxes, utility taxes, taxes on gas, toll road tolls, ad nauseum.

We have to stop the class warfare as it supports those that want to divide and conquer. They are then able to continually adminster the "boot to the head".

Everyone, which especially includes the poor, pay embedded taxes on all items purchased.  Fair Tax advocates estimate this to be 20% on average, which is added to the taxes that you mentioned.  This embedded cost is an effective tax of 25% on average.

Take for example a person that makes $1,000 a month, who lives paycheck to paycheck. The actual money that their employee sets aside for their wage is ~$1,075 because of the employer match for FICA.

$1,075 - $150 (Total FICA) = $925 - 25% (embedded taxes)  = $693.75 remaining per month. $1,075 - $693.75 = $381.25 paid in taxes = ~35% tax rate.  

Adding in the taxes you listed would easily make the working poor pay +40% in taxes, without paying any federal income taxes directly.

TPTB obfuscate the tax rules so that this class warfare continues 'since you don't pay the taxes that I do'.



lolman's picture

The 47 % percent does not mind using class war against us

toys for tits's picture

Ok smarty-pants, what about the death part?

Diogenes's picture

At least death doesn't get worse every year.

Parrotile's picture

Death per se does not get worse annually, but the means to deliver it does.

Along with the very well paid for "employment" of some very smart people whose "job" is to develop increasingly unpleasant means of "death delivery", ostensibly as a deterrent, but the Global reality is somewhat different, isn't it.

Diogenes's picture

As medical science and living conditions improved since Franklin's day, lifespans have increased, infant mortality and premature deaths due to disease and accident have decreased. So one could argue that death is less of a threat now. Most people have not suffered a near death experience from disease as he did when young, or lost a child to disease. Both were common before 1900.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

My accountant is 69 years old and a conservative type. He just told me that back in February he bought an AR-15.

The last time he fired a weapon was back in the early 60s. There is something going on that is causing this kind of

behavior in ordinarily rational people. The aroma of revolution is in the air.

Gavrikon's picture

This guy sounds rational to me.  He sees the situation and rightly judges that we are in deep shit.

Mazeman's picture

Owning an AR-15 is very rational.

NeedtoSecede's picture

I gave you all greenies today.  There is something in the air...

Forty Six and 2's picture

and responsible

and patriotic

Anusocracy's picture

A better metric is cost of government day.

Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Cost of Government Center calculate the Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.

In 2012, Cost of Government Day falls on July 15.  Working people must toil 197 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government.  2012 marks the fourth consecutive year COGD has fallen in July.   From a different perspective, the cost of government makes up 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).
flacon's picture

GDP.... No there's an Orwellian term. GDP = Government Spending = Debt by Fiat.


So another way to express GDP is DEBT. That is a four letter word beginning wtih F and ending in UCK!

nmewn's picture

Let me just say, I'm shocked...shocked I say!...that Tax Freedom Day comes so late in the Europe ;-)

FIAT's picture

Effective tax rate for the slow boiling frogs is already north of 65% if the frog believes he "owns" property

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Fortunately, boiled frog is cannot complain.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Fortunately, boiled frog is cannot complain.

Not after it croaks.

wee-weed up's picture


A year that will live in infamy!

ghengis86's picture


A year that will live in insanity!

Yen Cross's picture

 Island Nations tend to have higher (PPI's)?

Manipuflation's picture

Well, I guess I took a beating on G n A today after the AUAG beatdown?  No?  LOL

Jim in MN's picture

So this means that GE, JPM and the global elite bastards who have delegitimized and sodomized our Republic can take their negative tax rates, travel back in time, and fuck their own mothers.  Grandmothers even.

Makes sense to me.

Manipuflation's picture

No, it just means that MN consisently elects full retards in certain CDs and sends them to CONgress on the Fed level.  I have been after their arses for years and years now.

My best verbal dissertation was to MN Gov hopeful Tom Emmer in 2010, when, after his speech was done, I was able to directly ask him about the concept of "de-legislation".  He asked what I meant and I quizzed him how many laws are already on the books and asked why he was proposing adding more of them.  How many fucking blue laws does MN already have? Can't buy beer on Jebus day either here.  (unless 3.2 and an establishment)  I am not sure he ever recovered from that question.  OK, why can't we buy a car in MN on Sunday?  The reason why is? 

That is quite the economic stimulus incentive when you can't buy things on certain days of the week because then you would be in violation of the 1800 and what the fuck ever year it was law.  Hudson, WI draws Sunday business.

Your capacity suggests that you have met some our finest professional bullshit club members in MN as well so I will yield my time.

Jim in MN's picture

It's....complicated.   But I will remind folks that not only did Ron Paul take the entire MN slate in the primary, but Michele Bachmann herself was only given a seat at the last second when the Paul forces took pity upon her.  Grassroots warfare at its finest.

And, we have the highest voter turnout.  So at least folks are still trying.

Other than that, fire away.

Anusocracy's picture

Another quote that needs to visit the trash bin is from a fat, evil, British twit: "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Democracy is the worst form of government as are all other forms of government.



Dr. Engali's picture

WTF do we need taxes for when we have the Bernank and his magical digital printing press?

CheapBastard's picture

"I'm not sure what would be worse," he added, "millions of elderly unable to house and feed themselves ... or the intergenerational strife that surely would erupt if young people are forced to lower their standard of living to pay for our failure to act in a timely manner to avert this crisis."


"Our own research at Fidelity shows that nearly 4 in 10 retiree households do not have sufficient income to cover their monthly expenses," O'Hanley said. "Well over half of all Americans have less than $25,000 in total savings, not counting the value of their primary residence or pension plans. And 28 percent have put aside less than $1,000."


I'm sure this stock market plunge will give these retirees a real kick in the Butt on top of years getting 0.01% interest on their savings. Moar Green Shutz.

Yen Cross's picture

  Get some rest BitcheZ. BTFD will be in full force when N.Y. opens.

FIAT's picture

Does this gvt understand how much it is openly hated, reviled, and discredited?

Everyone hates them and assumes everything to be a lie.

Will they start a civil war that they will in NO WAY be able to "win" without foreign troops?

Yen Cross's picture

  My powder is dry for the 'Cable' trade in 4 hours.


QQQBall's picture

Tax Freedom Day... January 1st for appx 1/2 the nation

toys for tits's picture

Way to perpetuate the divide-and-conquer class warfare meme, you tool.

shovelhead's picture


The Free Shit Army got your back...

Good luck with that.

Neo1's picture

Convincing Congress to Abolish the Fed Use federal reserve notes and incur an Irrecusable obligation. The puzzle is complete!!! A Banksters defeatism (realization of defeat) nightmare, Being forced to Return to Real Money=United States Note=Lawful Money, Use the Remedy within the Federal Reserve Act. Redeemed 12USC411 - Refusal Penalty 12USC501a – Stop being a Slave!!!!!! This is Tax Free Money!!!!!! Irrecusable obligation, which according to 'Bouvier's Law Dictionary' (1914 ed.), is "a term used to indicate a certain class of contractual obligations recognized by the law which are imposed upon a person without his consent and without regard to any act of his own." This is distinguished from a recusable obligation, which according to Bouvier, arises from a voluntary act by which one incurs the obligation imposed by the operation of law. The Income Tax succinctly described is an irrecusable obligation. The obligation to make a return of income for using private credit is recognized in law as an irrecusable obligation. The voluntary use of private credit is the condition precedent, which imposes the irrecusable obligation to file a tax return. If private credit is not used or rejected, then the operation of law, which imposes the irrecusable obligation lies dormant and cannot apply. The people have it within their power to strip the Fed of its powers, rescind private credit and get the bankers to pay off the National Debt should Congress fail to act.

David Wooten's picture

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” - Benjamin Franklin

Let's be fair to Franklin by noting that this quotation was made when he was in his 80s and not far from death and probably a little depressed about it. The statement is also self-contradictory as it states (with certainty) that nothing can be said to be 'certain'. That being the case, proving it false is unnecessary.

There are far better quotations from this truly wise man - like this one:

"Democracy is two wolves and lamb voting on what to have for lunch".

toys for tits's picture

I like the 'early to bed, etc....' from an old guy who enjoyed the French ladies and night life.

General Decline's picture

"Democracy is two wolves and lamb voting on what to have for lunch".


"Liberty is the lamb being armed" - some other guy

Metal Minded's picture

"Democracy is two wolves and lamb voting on what to have for lunch"

Anyone else getting tired of seeing this canard(false, deluding statement designed to confuse the listener)?

Wolves and lambs do not possess mind as human(separate, temporal, physical) beings(one,eternal, spirit) do.

It appears we are capable of of something a bit more sophisticated than that of either wolves or lambs.

spentCartridge's picture

Why was Benjamin Franklin observing the social makeup of pre/post English revolutionary activity as a guest and agent to the CROWN & king George in England circa 1769?


Was it because he was perhaps, shall we say, not quite what (official) history describes him as being?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

So... ppl would rather live in Cyprus or Malta than Sweden, Holland or Germany.  Right?  ;-)  ;-)

Q:  Will the average person really want to live in one of these tax-free, mink-lined, over-heated cages?  What about variety of climate and geology?  Or a vibrant intellectual and cultural life -- when we're not re-re-re-re-counting the depreciating Precious.

Admittedly overt-taxing is paralyzing to free-enterprise, while it is great for a black economy, and flight of taxed and untaxed capital.  But... being untaxed is not exactly the "bee's knees" either, come to find out.  How about a reasonable medium?  Like we USED to have in most/all Western countries -- before the cancer of FRB & over-leverage and toxic assets riddled the body?

Bring back balance, perspective, moderation and compromise.  And bring back Checks & Balances in corporate and political governance, to keep casino/crony capitalism in check, so the system can work properly.  Is that too much to ask?

Yen Cross's picture

Kirk2NCC1701 You need to get LAID. Yer over thinking the trade.

Yen Cross's picture

    Self- Humiliation is a plus. ;-)

       US 30    14654.00    14599.20    14657.00    14537.00    54.80    0.38%

Mark_BC's picture

The government doesn't extract wealth via taxes. If it did, then it wouldn't be bankrupt. The government has been captured and extorted just like everyone else in the western world. Bankers extract wealth via taxes and insider trading, and government is merely the tool they use to effect this. The government used to be for the people. Now it is for the bankers. Rather than trying to get rid of the government, we should bring it back to the people. This means a bloody revolution through which the wealth of the middle class is forcibly taken back from the elites via a new form of wealth taxation (and elimination of income tax) that strategically targets the ultra wealthy parasites -- the billionaires, not the millionaires.