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Income Taxes Illustrated

1 min readBy: Scott Greenberg

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Every year, as April approaches, Americans spend hours filing their income taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. returns. As a result, most adult Americans are somewhat familiar with how the individual income taxAn individual income tax (or personal income tax) is levied on the wages, salaries, investments, or other forms of income an individual or household earns. The U.S. imposes a progressive income tax where rates increase with income. The Federal Income Tax was established in 1913 with the ratification of the 16th Amendment. Though barely 100 years old, individual income taxes are the largest source of tax revenue in the U.S. works. In fact, the income tax code is one of the only parts of federal law that almost every American has dealt with personally.

But filling out a tax return offers only a small glimpse of the entire federal income tax system. The individual income tax creates economic and fiscal consequences larger than any single tax return can reflect.

Income Taxes Illustrated is a visual guide to the federal income tax. Its goal is to provide policymakers and voters with the facts and context necessary to understand the income tax system as a whole.