Questions tagged [taxes]

The primary means by which governments raise revenue. Taxes can be levied on almost any aspect of economic activity.

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Did Amazon pay $0 in US taxes in 2018?

Background I saw this article saying that Amazon paid $0 in corporate income tax last year. Is this true or just phrased to sound like they are getting away with paying nothing? Here's the article: ...
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75 votes
2 answers
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Does Shell get $2 billion a year in subsidies from the US government?

While browsing reddit, I saw the following graphic from the Late Stage Capitalism subreddit: (Two stick figures are shown, the second one with Shell's logo for a head) This is Bob. Bob gets $...
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If American churches paid taxes, how much revenue would that generate?

A recent Cracked.com photoplasty contest produced this image: Is this image correct? Would taxing churches generate that much money, and would that much money be enough to cover food stamps and house ...
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58 votes
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Can the US government garnish 100% of your income?

I was reading a Wikipedia article about Karl Hess. The article contained this quote (emphasis mine): During that time [1967], President Johnson, a Democrat, ordered the Internal Revenue Service to ...
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55 votes
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Are US workers legally required to pay income taxes?

In the 2006 film America: Freedom to Fascism, several interviews are shown which claim that American workers do not need to pay income tax. Specifically, this clip claims that There is no law which ...
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Are razor blades tax-free in the UK?

A comic by artist Naoise Dolan published March 2015 has been circulating heavily on social media: The world according to the UK government: Men’s razors are taxed as necessities because you need to ...
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52 votes
3 answers
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Do rich companies pay little/no corporate income taxes in the United States?

It's a fairly common "fact" that if you make enough money, that you can hire lawyers who can hide all of your money, so that you end up paying little to no tax. Is this true?
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48 votes
2 answers
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Does the United States have more tax preparers than police and firefighters combined?

According to The Economist (May 13th, 2017, print edition, webpage), America has more tax preparers—over 1m, according to a project at George Washington University—than it has police and ...
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45 votes
2 answers
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2 % of 'the rich' pay 50 % of taxes in Germany

A statement made by a user under a news article claims that 50 % of all taxes are paid by 'rich people' being defined as making more than 70.000 €/a. (...) 2% der "Reichen" zahlen 50% der Steuern ...
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Were the women of Travancore, India, taxed for covering their breasts by breast size?

There are some claims regarding a weird tax which existed just over a century ago in a part of India. Several articles say that this tax existed. For example, the Economic Times: State of ...
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31 votes
4 answers
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Did Swedish tax rate ever exceed 100%?

In several places I've seen the claim that some people have at some point in history paid more than 100% taxes in Sweden. The Economist on the Nordic Countries: Astrid Lindgren, the inventor of ...
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Is there economic data to suggest whether or not trickle-down economics provides a net increase in standards of living?

One of the chief arguments for Reagan's fiscal policy of trickle-down economics was "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." Essentially that by ...
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30 votes
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Do Greeks evade taxes by not finishing their houses?

I've heard this claim several times: Q: Why are there so many unfinished houses in Greece? A: as long as the house is not finished, they don't have to pay building tax for it. So the leave it ...
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28 votes
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Does 20% of the population pay 80% of Federal income tax in the US?

I have heard this used in arguments (and even used it myself several times): that 20% of the US population pays 80% of the taxes. But I am starting to wonder if that is statistically accurate. Also, ...
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Did NASA receive a tax refund on a diamond window when it left the Earth aboard a space probe?

According to Hughesscgheritage.com: “Probe” is an export; diamond duty saved—Hughes News January 6, 1979 The cost of HAC’s highly successful Pioneer Venus mission was reduced by $12,474 because of an ...
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Do tax cuts stimulate an economy?

Every election cycle, I keep hearing that tax breaks stimulate the economy. Are there any well-known studies or scientifically-backed examples from history that shed light on whether or not this ...
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Do US companies pay significantly less taxes than European ones (based on tax rates)?

I have frequently heard claims that US companies pay significantly less taxes than European ones (based on tax rates). The last time I saw this claim (and what caused me to ask this question) was ...
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Does the UK government have only 300 staff investigating tax evasion of £70bn+ vs 3250 staff investigating benefits (welfare) fraud of £1.2bn?

The following graphic is doing the rounds on Facebook: Is it true? Does the graphic give an accurate representation of the comparative headcount/effort/resources that the UK government (as a whole) ...
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20 votes
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Is the US tax code only 2,600 pages long?

Andrew L. Grossman wrote in the Slate article Is the Tax Code Really 70,000 Pages Long? : American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report has reported that the tax code is 70,000 pages long.* The ...
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Was the 16th Amendment (income tax) improperly ratified?

Bill Benson released The Law that Never Was in 1985, which "claims that the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, commonly known as the income tax amendment, was never properly ...
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Has anyone noteworthy given up their US citizenship to escape taxation?

I've heard it said that a US citizen can escape paying US income taxes by giving up their citizenship and living in a foreign country (presumably, somewhere that has lower taxes or perhaps where a ...
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Will the Republican tax plan cost Donald Trump "a fortune"?

In this video (Donald Trump in St. Charles, MO - Youtube), Donald Trump says the Republican tax plan is going to "cost him a fortune, believe me" (1:30). This is going to cost me a fortune, this ...
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18 votes
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Has income tax been found unconstitutional by a court?

Someone told me that there are people who claim that the income tax, and by extension the IRS, is unconstitutional, and that some have won in court using this argument. Is this true? An example of a ...
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Does the USA have the highest taxes?

I was listening to the Trump rally tonight in Ohio and Trump said: My administration is working every single day to heed and honor the will of the voters. That includes working on one of the ...
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16 votes
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Is the GOP tax plan the 'largest tax cut in history'?

The GOP recently released their final tax plan this week, after going to a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill. US President Donald Trump has frequently ...
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15 votes
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If you raise taxes, will the rich leave the country? [closed]

I often see/hear this argument used as an argument against raising income tax, at least here in the UK. The argument being the rich will leave, taking their cash out of the country, resulting in ...
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Does an American taxpayer fund $870 in corporate subsidies for every $36 in food stamps?

I recently saw this Occupy Democrats claim on Facebook: Now, obviously a lot of those categories are vague and open to interpretation (I've known people who would argue most of the U.S. defense ...
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14 votes
0 answers
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Does the Netherlands allow letterbox companies to exist as long as they have a houseplant in their empty office?

The following article came to my attention: OneWorld - Kunstenares Tinkebell toert langs kamerplanten van belastingontwijkers (Dutch). It describes how an artist will be doing tours of companies ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Do the Republican tax cuts cost more than forgiving student debt?

In today's US political climate, a big talking point for some of the Democratic Party candidates is the forgiveness of student loans. Whenever I hear this discussed among my peers, the consensus is ...
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Do the rich in the US donate an average of 15 percent of their income?

Dick Smith in a recent rant about "selfish" rich Australians made a claim that: In the United States, the rich donated an average of 15 per cent of their income, Smith said. But in Australia it ...
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Does Ecological taxation work?

From Wikipedia: Ecotax (short for Ecological taxation) refers to taxes intended to promote ecologically sustainable activities via economic incentives. Such a policy can complement or avert ...
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Do rich Americans pay a lower portion of their income in federal taxes than the middle class?

Not quite the same as this related question but similar. According to Wikipedia, the origin of the "Buffett Rule" oft-quoted by former-President Obama is that: rich people, like himself, could pay ...
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11 votes
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Does a tax on drinks with high sugar content reduce sugar consumption?

The UK government is introducing a sugar tax on soft drinks with more than 5g per 100ml of sugar. Coca-Cola claims that this "flies in the face of evidence from around the world" A longer ...
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Did 80% of middle class families' tax burden decrease in 2018 because of Trump's tax cuts?

In the news lately (early 2019) are many stories of regular people complaining that they have drastically lower tax refunds than the previous year, and some even owing instead. This is in the wake of ...
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11 votes
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Did Elon Musk pay "the most [income] taxes ever in history for an individual last year"?

After Senator Warren went on TV and said Elon Musk paid $0 in taxes in 2018, he responded in a Tweet dated 20 Feb 2022 saying (emphasis added): Will visit IRS next time I’m in DC just to say hi, ...
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11 votes
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Is there a single US tax law that allows profits to be moved offshore to avoid taxes?

[A] tax provision that allows multinational corporations to defer U.S. taxes by moving profits into offshore financial subsidiaries. This provision -- known as the "active financing exception" -- ...
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Are the ABA and IRS foreign-owned private debt collection agencies?

A colleague recently shared An Open Letter to Sheriff Ward of Harney County Oregon - and to All County Sheriffs in America from Judge Anna This letter makes a number of claims, among which: The ...
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Does Scotland receive more public funding than its tax-payers contribute?

On the 18th of September 2014 the Scottish people will vote in a Referendum. The question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" As you might expect the magnitude of this event has dredged ...
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Are value-added taxes naturally progressive?

In The solution to income disparity? Consumption taxes, Timothy Taylor claims the following: Why are VATs and sales taxes so unpopular? One common critique is that they are regressive. ... But if you ...
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Does the Inflation Reduction Act increase taxes on people making less than $10,000 / year?

Quoting Democrats rely on misleading messaging to sell Manchin-Schumer bill: In 2023, the year in which the legislation would increase tax revenue most, individuals making less than $10,000 per year ...
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10 votes
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Has a company been indicted for failing to pay taxes on benefits?

CNN is reporting that Ron Fischetti, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, stated: “It’s outrageous. It’s unprecedented. It’s never happened before,” he said of a company being indicted in ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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Did Trump save on taxes by burying his ex wife on a golf course?

This article claims that burying Ivana Trump on a Bedminster golf course eliminates property, income and sales tax. Trump is accused of burying Ivana at his Bedminster golf club to take advantage of ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is the average effective corporate tax rate in US only 15% in 2017?

I have seen plenty of arguments and articles claiming that companies pay significantly below statutory tax rates. This Forbes article claims that number was around 15%. But then I see articles like ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is their tax bill the single biggest cost of living for most households in the UK?

Mark Littlewood wrote an opinion article in The Telegraph [unpaywalled alternative] atacking the UK's Conservative Party. He claimed: For most households, the single biggest cost of living is their ...
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Did Warren Buffett pay a lower rate of income tax than his secretary?

Within the past few months, Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying he only paid 15% income tax while his secretary paid much more (I think the number is 35%, but I could be wrong). This "fact" has ...
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8 votes
1 answer
575 views

Earned income tax credit 25% fraud?

I was listening a discussion on poverty on CSPAN radio this morning and Robert E. Rector from The Heritage Foundation claimed that 25% of the Earned Income tax credit is fraudulent. Specifically, ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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Does Toomey's amendment to the GOP Tax Bill only benefit Hillsdale College?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer just said this on the Senate floor, regarding the Republican Tax Bill: One college, Hillsdale College, has been exempted from taxes on colleges with large ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Did the Washington Post ever advocate Amazon's position on sales taxes?

On July 24th, 2017, Donald Trump tweeted: Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly? First of ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Do over 20 countries have zero tax, but high-quality services?

This picture: (source) currently has nearly 6,000 likes on Facebook. Its claim as text: There are over 20 countries on Earth that have zero tax, yet somehow they still have roads, schools, sewers, ...
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6 votes
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Are these claims about tax paid in the 2017-2018 Australian tax year accurate?

On December 14, 2019, the Australian Greens posted a claim to their Facebook feed about taxes paid by individuals and various entities. The claim is in the image on this page, but essentially the ...
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