List of 100 Taxes and Fees You Pay to the Government
By: Joe Messerli
"U.S. Internal Revenue Service: an agency modeled after the revenue raising concepts of the 19th century economist, Jesse James". --Robert Brault
"If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don't get wet you can keep". --Will Rogers
"The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it." --Ronald Reagan
One of the reasons the USA came into existence was that so many people were tired of paying taxes to a nation thousands of miles away. They shed blood to fight for their
independence in large part to prevent an oppressive government from taking so much of their hard-earned dollars. The limited tax model the country once had
has evolved into one where taxes and fees infiltrate virtually every part of our life. How? Almost all taxes are sold by the government as 1) A tax on
the rich who can afford to pay more, 2) A one-time tax or fee to pay for a certain expense, or 3) A tax to pay for some "crisis". No matter how the taxes
are sold by politicians, they're almost never taken away once they're implemented, and even if the target group is "the rich", inflation and other factors
(such as businesses charging higher prices to cover tax increases) eventually causes the taxes to hit unintended targets.
So just how bad has the situation become? Here is a list of 100 taxes and fees you currently pay (either directly or through a pass-on of costs from business
to consumer). Keep this list in mind every time you hear a politician
propose new taxes or fees to pay for their latest binge of spending to repay campaign contributors and ensure their own reelection bids.
Personal/Consumer Taxes & Fees
- Federal income tax
- State income tax
- Local income tax
- Employee social security tax (your employer pays the other half)
- Employee Medicare tax (your employer pays the other half)
- Property taxes
- Road toll charges
- State sales tax
- Driver's license renewal fee
- TV Cable/Satellite fees & taxes
- Federal telephone surtax, excise tax, and universal surcharge
- State telephone excise tax and surcharge
- Telephone minimum usage and recurring/nonrecurring charges tax
- Gas/electric bill fees & taxes
- Water/sewer fees & taxes
- Cigarette tax
- Alcohol tax
- Federal gasoline tax
- State gasoline tax
- Local gasoline tax
- Federal inheritance tax
- State inheritance tax
- Gift tax
- Bridge toll charges
- Marriage license
- Hunting license
- Fishing license
- Bike license fee
- Dog permit/license
- State park permit
- Watercraft registration & licensing fees
- Sports stadium tax
- Bike/nature trail permit
- Court case filing fee
- Retirement account early withdrawal penalty
- Individual health insurance mandate tax
- Hotel stay tax
- Plastic surgery surcharge
- Soda/fatty-food tax
- Air transportation tax
- Electronic transmission of tax return fees
- Passport application/renewal fee
- Luxury & gas-guzzler car taxes
- New car surcharge
- License plate and car ownership transfer taxes
- Yacht and luxury boat taxes
- Jewelry taxes & surcharges
- State/local school tax
- Recreational vehicle tax
- Special assessments for road repairs or construction
- Gun ownership permit
- Kiddie tax (IRS form 8615)
- Fuel gross receipts tax
- Waste Management tax
- Oil and gas assessment tax
- Use taxes (on out-of-state purchase)
- IRA rollover tax/withdrawal penalties
- Tax on non-qualified health saving account distributions
- Individual and small business surtax (page 336 of Obamacare)
- Estimated income tax underpayment penalty
Alternative Minimum Tax on income
Business Taxes & Fees
- Federal corporate income tax
- State corporate income tax
- Tax registration fee for new businesses
- Employer social security tax
- Employer Medicare tax
- Federal unemployment tax
- State unemployment tax
- Business registration renewal tax
- Worker's compensation tax
- Tax on imported/exported goods
- Oil storage/inspection fees
- Employer health insurance mandate tax
- Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (page 2001/Sec. 9007 of Obamacare)
- Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Page 2010/Sec. 9008 of Obamacare)
- Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Page 2020/Sec. 9009 of Obamacare)
- Tax on Health Insurers (Page 2026/Sec. 9010 of Obamacare)
- Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, i.e. "Cadillac" plans
- Tax on indoor tanning services
- Utility users tax
- Internet transaction fee (passed in California; being considered in other states and at federal level)
- Professional license fee (accountants, lawyers, barbers, dentists, plumbers, etc.)
- Franchise business tax
- Tourism and concession license fee
- Wiring inspection fees
- Household employment tax
- Biodiesel fuel tax
- FDIC tax (insurance premium on bank deposits)
- Electronic waste recycling fee
- Hazardous material disposal fee
- Food & beverage license fee
- Estimated income tax underpayment penalty
- Building/construction permit
- Zoning permit
- Fire inspection fee
- Well permit tax
- Sales and Use tax seller's permit
- Commercial driver's license fee
- Bank ATM transaction tax
- Occupation taxes and fees (annual charges required for a host of professions)
Bar Stool Economics
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. He said, "Since you are all such
good customers, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would
still drink for free. But what about the other six men -- the paying customers?
How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share"? They realized that $20 divided by
six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from every body's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end
up being paid to drink his beer. So the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly
the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay!
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.
But once outside the restaurant, the men began to count up are their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!!"shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it
came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them
for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the
highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they
just may not show up any more. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
Related Links Why do increased income tax rates lower revenue?
Americans for Tax Reform
Another list of taxes paid by Americans
Do you know what taxes you're paying?
Pros and cons of taxing the rich
Tea Party Patriots
Pros and cons of a national sales tax
Reply to the Author
Page Last Updated: 08/13/2011