A List Of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If you are like most Americans, paying taxes is one of your pet peeves.  The deadline to file your federal taxes is coming up, and this year Americans will spend more than 7 billion hours preparing their taxes and will hand over more than four trillion dollars to federal, state and local governments.  Americans will fork over nearly 30 percent of what they earn to pay their income taxes, but that is only a small part of the story.

As you will see below, there are dozens of other taxes that Americans pay every year.  Of course not everyone pays all of these taxes, but without a doubt we are all being taxed into oblivion.  It is like death by a thousand paper cuts.  Our politicians have become extremely creative in finding ways to extract money from all of us, and most Americans don't even realize what is being done to them.  By the time it is all said and done, a significant portion of the population ends up paying more than half of what they earn to the government.  That is fundamentally wrong, but nothing will be done about it until people start demanding change.  The following is a list of 97 taxes Americans pay every year...

#1 Air Transportation Taxes (just look at how much you were charged the last time you flew)

#2 Biodiesel Fuel Taxes

#3 Building Permit Taxes

#4 Business Registration Fees

#5 Capital Gains Taxes

#6 Cigarette Taxes

#7 Court Fines (indirect taxes)

#8 Disposal Fees

#9 Dog License Taxes

#10 Drivers License Fees (another form of taxation)

#11 Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax

#12 Employer Medicare Taxes

#13 Employer Social Security Taxes

#14 Environmental Fees

#15 Estate Taxes

#16 Excise Taxes On Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

#17 Federal Corporate Taxes

#18 Federal Income Taxes

#19 Federal Unemployment Taxes

#20 Fishing License Taxes

#21 Flush Taxes (yes, this actually exists in some areas)

#22 Food And Beverage License Fees

#23 Franchise Business Taxes

#24 Garbage Taxes

#25 Gasoline Taxes

#26 Gift Taxes

#27 Gun Ownership Permits

#28 Hazardous Material Disposal Fees

#29 Highway Access Fees

#30 Hotel Taxes (these are becoming quite large in some areas)

#31 Hunting License Taxes

#32 Import Taxes

#33 Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes

#34 Inheritance Taxes

#35 Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses

#36 Inspection Fees

#37 Insurance Premium Taxes

#38 Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes

#39 Inventory Taxes

#40 IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes

#41 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

#42 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

#43 Library Taxes

#44 License Plate Fees

#45 Liquor Taxes

#46 Local Corporate Taxes

#47 Local Income Taxes

#48 Local School Taxes

#49 Local Unemployment Taxes

#50 Luxury Taxes

#51 Marriage License Taxes

#52 Medicare Taxes

#53 Medicare Tax Surcharge On High Earning Americans Under Obamacare

#54 Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (if you don't buy "qualifying" health insurance under Obamacare you will have to pay an additional tax)

#55 Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income (a new 3.8% surtax on investment income)

#56 Parking Meters

#57 Passport Fees

#58 Professional Licenses And Fees (another form of taxation)

#59 Property Taxes

#60 Real Estate Taxes

#61 Recreational Vehicle Taxes

#62 Registration Fees For New Businesses

#63 Toll Booth Taxes

#64 Sales Taxes

#65 Self-Employment Taxes

#66 Sewer & Water Taxes

#67 School Taxes

#68 Septic Permit Taxes

#69 Service Charge Taxes

#70 Social Security Taxes

#71 Special Assessments For Road Repairs Or Construction

#72 Sports Stadium Taxes

#73 State Corporate Taxes

#74 State Income Taxes

#75 State Park Entrance Fees

#76 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)

#77 Tanning Taxes (a new Obamacare tax on tanning services)

#78 Telephone 911 Service Taxes

#79 Telephone Federal Excise Taxes

#80 Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes

#81 Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes

#82 Telephone State And Local Taxes

#83 Telephone Universal Access Taxes

#84 The Alternative Minimum Tax

#85 Tire Recycling Fees

#86 Tire Taxes

#87 Tolls (another form of taxation)

#88 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)

#89 Use Taxes (Out of state purchases, etc.)

#90 Utility Taxes

#91 Vehicle Registration Taxes

#92 Waste Management Taxes

#93 Water Rights Fees

#94 Watercraft Registration & Licensing Fees

#95 Well Permit Fees

#96 Workers Compensation Taxes

#97 Zoning Permit Fees

Yet despite all of this oppressive taxation, our local governments, our state governments and our federal government are all absolutely drowning in debt.

When the federal income tax was originally introduced a little more than 100 years ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of only 1 percent.

But once they get their feet in the door, the social planners always want more.

Since that time, tax rates have gone much higher and the tax code has exploded in size.

Why do we have to have the most convoluted tax system in the history of the planet?

Why can't things be simpler?

In a previous article entitled "24 Outrageous Facts About Taxes In The United States That Will Blow Your Mind", I listed a number of reasons why our federal income tax system has become a complete and utter abomination that is entirely out of control...

1 - 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.

8 - The IRS spends $2.45 for every $100 that it collects in taxes.

9 - According to The Tax Foundation, the average American has to work until April 17th just to pay federal, state, and local taxes.  Back in 1900, "Tax Freedom Day" came on January 22nd.

10 - When the U.S. government first implemented a personal income tax back in 1913, the vast majority of the population paid a rate of just 1 percent, and the highest marginal tax rate was just 7 percent.

If it was up to me, I would abolish the income tax and shut the IRS down.

But neither major political party in the United States is even willing to consider such a thing.

So the monstrous system that we have created will continue to get even bigger and even more complicated.

We are literally being taxed into oblivion, and most Americans don't even seem to care.

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BigJim's picture

Do you get the feeling this Snyder guy doesn't hold down a regular job?

One And Only's picture

You don't get that feeling about Tyler Durden?

BigJim's picture

And you never see them together, either!



fonzannoon's picture

He is a former D.C attorney who realized it's just easier to spin off this bullshit from his laptop at starbucks before his tennis lesson. He included all these taxes and did not even mention inflation (or maybe he did. I don't even read this shit anymore).

idea_hamster's picture

"75 years ago, the instructions for Form 1040 were two pages long.  Today, they are 189 pages long."

That 6.25% compounded annually.  Sounds legit....

idea_hamster's picture

"The IRS spends $2.45 for every $100 that it collects in taxes."

Now that's what I call ROI, baby!

chumbawamba's picture

The IRS is a debt collector.  The income tax is actually nothing more than an excise tax for your use of Federal Reserve Notes, which are private banker credit.  Look at a return, they are interested in how many of their FRAUDs (Federal Reserve Accounting Unit Device) you used during the year.  You are automatically exempt $1,000 for the presumed use of US Treasury minted currency (otherwise known as "coins").

The tax you supposedly owe is a debt, subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  15 USC section 1692.  When the IRS sends you a bill, send them a debt validation demand.

Game over.

I am Chumbawamba.

chumbawamba's picture

P.S. If they get obnoxious, tell them, no problem, give me the names of all the competent fact witnesses who will be showing up in tax court to testify as to the validity of the alleged debt.

Again, game over.

This law stuff is hard!

I am Chumbawamba.

fonzannoon's picture

Hey Chumba I just followed a link to a link to a piece that you put up on ZH a few years ago about waking up and the Matrix. Did you ever write a follow up to that?

The Vineyard's picture

The rich need to pay more taxes.  I want them to fix my teeth.  Bitches.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Say what you will about Snyder (yeah, he uses a lot of lists, and repeats a lot of facts), but he at least is giving information that is pretty amazing (as to how destructive government is) to those who've not yet woken up to some basic, incredible facts of government ass-buggery.

The tax code (IRC) is literally responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of real jobs, in order to support maybe 700,000 IRS, accountant, tax attorney & other parasitic jobs, due to its ridiculous complexity and nearly indecipherable provisions.

It should be scrapped in its entirety, and replaced with a 15% flat tax,
that can be computed in less than 1 minute by anyone with an IQ of 80 or greater (15% x gross income) and sent in on a form the length of a postcard.

p.s. - for those keeping tabs on the China Economic Black Hole - OT - Anyone who claims China is NOT headed for a crash landing is delusional:


News Headline Summary

An industry official says more steel makers, particularly private ones, may follow Haixin Iron and Steel into default

Print 01:02 - Asian News - Source: China Securities Journal

Mr. Ed's picture

"It should be scrapped in its entirety, and replaced with a 15% flat tax,..."

Okay.  Do what you're talking about, but do it with the FairTax (HR25) because it puts your income records completely out of reach.

The FairTax puts an end to the Police State fostered by the IRS.  No more "show us your papers" any time some creep in the Collections Division of the IRS decides to amuse themselves.  The FairTax (HR25) restores the Fourth Amendment.


PS: with the FairTax, criminals and everyone else in the underground economy start paying tax -- that means less tax for the rest of us.

CH1's picture

It should be...

But nothing will change, so long as everyone obeys.

Why should it?

Problem Is's picture

No Tax On Income

Only tax idle assets and... A 1% sales tax on all HFT securities and notional value of ALL DERIVATIVES!

But no tax on on income ever...

Drifter's picture

Only constitutional taxes are excise (sales tax) and proportioned head tax (same amount for everybody), both collected at the state level and remitted to the federal govt. 

No direct interacton between federal govt and the people, federal govt only interacted with state govts.

But constitution stopped mattering long ago, right after civil war specifically.

Free Wary's picture

You are spouting statist stuff

Free Wary's picture

Nope. It should be scrapped entirely and NOT replaced with anything. This would cause the federal government to shrink, maybe somewhere close to where the founders intended.

FWM's picture

" It should be scrapped in its entirety, and replaced with a 15% flat tax..."

Politely disagree:  God only asks for 10%.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Here's an important question: do you think people would be more or less inclined to pay their taxes if they felt they received value for money?  I ask this because it seems now a full 26% of American government budget is to pay interest on loans they borrowed from 'the rich.'

chumbawamba's picture

I'm presently gaining more field experience so no one can accuse me of being a hypocrite.  That series is set to resume soon.  Can't say when exactly, but it shall be continued.

Thanks for asking.


BigJim's picture

Hey Chumblez, I always enjoy your posts... whether I agree with them or not ;-)

When I've encountered your various posts re: the legal intricacies of the IRS tax code, they remind me of other technical arguments people have used to resist the IRS... and have wound up in prison for evading 'their' taxes. Do you have some direct experience of getting these arguments to work, either with the IRS, or in court?

chumbawamba's picture

Not direct experience, as so far I've dealt with the IRS by simply telling them to fuck off (and it helps to not have a permanent address at the moment).  But it comes down to fundamental foundational law.  The IRS is making a claim against you.  He who brings the claim must provide proof of claim upon demand.  That works as a debt validation demand and it also works in court defending oneself.  They can't just submit documents into the record unless you let them.  They have to be qualified by a competent first hand fact witness.  The IRS is a paper hell and dozens of agents may have had a hand in shaping your file, so even if they wanted their agents to testify they would have to bring in a bunch of them to authenticate any records, and that's just not happening.  The bottom line is you can beat them with very basic law.  There is plenty of information on the web, it's just a matter of taking the time to read it and piece it all together.  You can even find people to hire that will hold your hand throughout the entire process (as well as a lot of hucksters who will say they will help but just steal your money, like the IRS).

The reason people lose against them is because a) they misunderstand the nature and purpose of the IRS and b) they fall into the well placed traps the system has laid for them along the treacherous path of fighting the "government" (IRS is a private corporation, just like the Federal Reserve).  Most people go into court as a defendant, not realizing they are castrated in that position.  Any time anyone sues you the first response is to file a counter-claim, which makes you a plaintiff, and the plaintiff is the sovereign of the court (a "court" is the person and suit of the sovereign, it's old timey common law).  You always want to be a plaintiff in court, and you always want to be pressing your own claim, even if just suing the other side for trespassing on your right to be left alone.

This is insightful and explains more about how people lose for making erroneous arguments.  You don't argue the facts with them in court, you argue the law, and beat them on jurisdiction.


I am Chumbawamba.

Who was that masked man's picture

It is a giant leap of faith to imagine you will get a fair trial when challenging the government.

Government will only abide by the "rule of law" when it suits, or advances, its own adjenda.

The IRS is like a deadly poisoous snake with a head at both ends.  You will be defending youself against one head while the other one comes around and bites you in the ass.

We are all slaves to a cruel, greedy, and all-powerful master.  Our best defense for personal survival is to stay low and keep our head down, the minute we poke our head up, as you seem determined to do, it will be chopped off.

It is foolish to think we can "outsmart" the government through reason and rational argument.  Government is not about reason, government is not rational, government is about power and brute force.  This is not something new, it has always been thus since the beginning of time, other than for a few brief moments before corruption and greed again took over.


It short chumba, you are a fool

chumbawamba's picture

That may be, but at least I'm not a slave.

I am Chumbawamba.

Who was that masked man's picture

You're like a virgin who voluntarily offers herself as sacrifice to the gods in some sort of pointless display of pride and ego.


You are twice a slave.  Once to your own idealism and once to the system that will consume and destroy you.


Only the rat and the cockroach are free, they live by stealth, taking what they need in darkness of night and keeping head down.

Mr. Ed's picture

"It short chumba, you are a fool"


I have to agree.  The IRS loves to see the likes of Chumba and others they call Tax Protestors coming at them.  They've been dealing with that kind for decades and know there will be no contest.  They know they will win... they own the courts.

The only thing the IRS fears is an educated and organized citizenry willing turn out crony-loving legislators who like playing games with the tax code and elect a group that will pass the FairTax (HR25)

There is only one way to deal with something like the IRS:  KILL IT.

The FairTax kills the IRS monster and repeals the Sixteenth Amendment so that it never comes back again.

Pass the FairTax and at the same time restore the Fourth Amendment(which terminates a large part the current police state)!

BigJim's picture

Chumblez: Thanks for the lengthy reply.

Sorry if this is a stupid question... but if they make a claim against you, and you then counter-sue, doesn't that just mean you have two cases on your hands? One in which you're the defendant, and another one in which you're the plaintiff?

Liberty2012's picture

Thank you Chumbawamba for the Matrix article mentioned above, etc, etc

Liberty2012's picture

Thank you FoeTheWorld for finding the link

Final Authority's picture

Yes, it is an excise tax but it can be on more things then just your use of FRN's. Lincoln got it all going in earnest when he asked for a "return" on the funds paid all the federals recruited to beat the southern States into a bloody pulp. That was long before 1913. Up vote for pointing out one way to get them to leave you alone. Evidence and witnesses, or lack thereof, can be your friends if you understand the game the crooks play.

Mr. Ed's picture

"The IRS is a debt collector.  The income tax is actually nothing more than an excise tax...   ...Game over"  ???

You may not realize it but you got served some bad Cool Aid somewhere...  anything of the kind you suggest assumes that the courts in this country will uphold statutory law and the constitution in litigation against the IRS (ROFL!!)   ...not gonna happen.

HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25! 

chumbawamba's picture

You just lack imagination, my friend.  And balls.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mr. Ed's picture

HA-HA!!!  Well, I know the history of this matter, but I'm not gonna stand your way.  Good luck -:)

BigJim's picture

I'd enjoy reading your counter-arguments, so please don't hold back.

Mr. Ed's picture

"Now that's what I call ROI, baby!"

Yeah... but how much do YOU spend in time, money and planning on this stupid game for every $100 THEY extract?  That's not quite as pretty.

HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25!  HR25! ...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


He is a former D.C attorney who realized it's just easier to spin off this bullshit from his laptop at starbucks before his tennis lesson.

Thank you, fonz, for not using any form of the verb "to write" in your assessment. This guy does not write, he enumerates lists.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

come on, this is at least a useful article. At least its not another "23 reasons why the dollar collapses tomorrow"


but yes, he is getting tiresome

BigJim's picture

'tomorrow'? You mean he's gaining perspective? Last year the dollar was going to collapse today.

Stuck on Zero's picture

The worst tax of all is the inflation tax.  Your savings lose value continuously and then the government taxes you on the interest that hasn't kept up with the inflation.


Grouchy Marx's picture

I have this theory that Tyler is actually a very clever software algorithm.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Americans get to pay taxes so the corporations don't have to.

It's Robin Hood in reverse.  The government robs from the poor and gives to the rich.

booboo's picture

So in 1913 the income tax was instituted as the vig for the new banking cartel for the priviledge of using the ever shrinking Reserve note, yea, I think he missed inflation as the steathiest tax of them all. Fuck you Yellen

Grouchy Marx's picture

I get the feeling few people hold down regular jobs anymore. It's all temp work. "Permanent" employee is an oxymoron.

Tough Mudder's picture

He has corporate sponsorship.

Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Whoever down voted this article is either an IRS agent or NSA propaganda machine! Ban those assholes!

ghengis86's picture

You see this?!? THIS is why we can't have nice things!

Fuck you IRS, Mr. Yellen, O-zero and the whole lot of you fuckers in DC, Wall Steet, London, et al!!!

A Lunatic's picture

98 - Inflation.......

Woodyg's picture

The author might start with the IRS but I'd start with the damn Federal Reserve.
Good idea - let the predatory banksters run the monetary policy And Currency - talk about giving away your sovereignty - and when some say But we have to let the Fed run the Currency or else the poor will get ahold of the currency thru that shitty thing called Democracy and the Vote and run the monetary policy to enrich themselves -
Which is of course what the fat little piggies / monopolist fascist bastards are doing right now.

And if we add up all those taxes paid you'll find that The HORROR
Even poor people pay lots of these taxes - and if added up the poor and middle class pay a much higher overall rate than the 1% do.

And the hidden tax not mentioned Inflation.

DavidC's picture

Yeah, but the market's up...