April 30th Is "Tax Freedom" Day

April 30th is the day you stop working for the government and start working for yourself, according to the Tax Foundation’s annual estimate dubbed “Tax freedom day.” CNNMoney explains:

Tax freedom day is theoretical because it assumes we’ve been working 7 days a week since the start of the year, and that we don’t spend anything we make. The 120 days from Jan. 1 through April 30 represents the time it will take the nation as a whole to earn enough to pay off all of the taxes that will be levied against us this year.

Breaking that 120 days down, the Tax Foundation estimates it will take:

* 43 days of work to pay off federal, state and local income taxes
* 30 days to pay off payroll taxes (for Social Security and Medicare)
* 16 days to pay off sales and excise taxes
* 14 days to pay off corporate income taxes (This assumes that a tax on a business is passed on to its customers, employees and shareholders in terms of higher prices, lower paychecks and less shareholder value.)
* 12 days to pay off property taxes
* 4 days to pay off other taxes (e.g., customs duties)
* 1 day to pay off estate and gift taxes

Tax Freedom Day varies by state. Time to move from Connecitcut (where Tax Freedom day is May 20), to Alabama (where it’s April 12)….—MEGHANN MARCO

Americans work 4 months to pay this year’s taxes [CNNMoney]
(Photo: Brent and Marylinn)


Edit Your Comment

  1. “Tax Foundation Figures Do Not Represent Middle-Income Tax Burdens”.

    The above is talking about previous versions of the calculation, but I don’t think they’ve stopped lying in the meantime.

    As is usual for right-wing tax complainers for whom the only possible answer to the question of how much money you need to be happy is “More!”, the Tax Foundation’s calculations are strongly biased in favour of the wealthy. The “average Americans” they talk about are not average at all. People with incomes closer to the median pay less of that income in tax.

    The Tax Foundation engages in some further straight-out lying when, for instance, they include capital gains taxes in their debit figures (you know, the appreciation of the large stock portfolio and multiple investment properties that all average Americans apparently own), but fail to include the appreciation which triggers those taxes in their credit figures. Apparently average Americans take the money their investments make and burn it.

    To quote another commentator: “Please do not report this nonsense without noting the profound lack of logic and consistency inherent in it”.

  2. mac-phisto says:

    really? only 12 days to pay off my $3000/yr in property tax? i wonder if my boss knows i got a raise…

  3. karmaghost says:

    Thanks, but I think I’ll put up with the taxes to stay the hell away from Alabama.

  4. No kidding, Karmaghost. The bottom of the list for taxation reads like a laundry list of states I’d drive like hell to get out of: Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Alaska, Tennessee.

    I’ll also note that they didn’t bother ranking DC. Sure it has an entry, but no rank (it should be 3, pushing everything down one).

  5. acambras says:

    When I lived in Alabama (nearly 20 years ago), property taxes in the Southern states tended to be very low, but sales tax was relatively high and was assessed on pretty much everything (including food and medicine). I’m wondering if the Tax Foundation took into account the differences between states’ sales tax (how much and what’s taxed).

  6. crayonshinobi says:

    @ Daniel Rutter; As a “right wing complainer,” I also find this example to be inaccurate as I pay far more taxes than what is listed here. I’m with mac-phisto on this one…It would take me closer to 5 weeks to pay my government land rental. I’ll never understand the obsession with punishing people for making money. Why is it ok to tax me close to 1/3 of my income, but only 15% for others? Why can’t we all pay the same percentage?

    An interesting note for your “capital gains” tax as well, there is no upper limit to the gains you must report for taxation, but they limit the deduction you can take from loss to $5k/year. So they punish you for profiting on a risk, and don’t reward you for losing either. I always thought that was rather underhanded.

  7. Triteon says:

    I’m in agreement with Crayon’s points, yet with a different situation. Modest, midwest living allows me to have an oversized home for the 2 of us who live there, but my property taxes can be paid with about 6 days of gross income. However, my federal tax alone is close to double the number of days quoted in the article.

  8. SexCpotatoes says:

    @crayonshinobi: Um, whine and complain all you’d like, but you “rich” people aren’t taxed 1/3 or 33% of your income or whatever, it’s a PROGRESSIVE TAX, meaning that you get taxed 33% of everything you make OVER $150,000. Boo-Hoo, cry me a river. Make more, pay more, extremely fair.

  9. crayonshinobi says:

    @SexCpotatoes, love the name by the way. “Make more pay more” is implied by the use of a percentage. 1/3 of 100k is more than 1/3 of 50k… Why should I, or anyone, have to pay a higher percentage of my income to the government if I make more money? Explain how this is “fair.”

    If everyone paid the same percentage, the rich would still be paying more taxes than the poor…and in that way, we wouldn’t be punishing people for earning more than a median wage. Unless, that is, you enjoy being poor sexCpotatoes…and want others to be poor as well.

  10. Um, if you don’t like taxes, don’t move to Connecticut. We pay a buttload of taxes. Seriously. It sucks.

  11. Guy_Incognito82 says:

    @crayonshinobi: SexCpotatoes point is that you DO pay the same percentage on the same amount of money. Everyone pays 10% on their first $7,550, 15% on everything between $7,550 and $30,650, and so on. So you, me and someone making minimum wage have the exact same tax burden on those first $30,000. So you’re not actually paying 28% on the whole 100K–you’re paying 22%.

    Paying the same taxes on the same amounts but paying more on the higher earnings seems pretty fair to me–it recognizes that life has some fixed costs. I HAVE to spend the same amount of money on certain items (food, shelter, medicine) as someone making half of what I do. So it’s a lot easier to lose 30 cents from my 100,000th dollar than it is to lose 20 cents from that 30,000th dollar.

  12. webwbr says:

    @SexCpotatoes (indeed fun name) I suggest you move to one of the socialist countries in Europe if you like that policy so such.

    Me, I’m hoping America returns to the our original constitutional roots… friends, I think we are due to a trip to Boston Harbor and prepare to hurl some tea — among other things.

  13. SexCpotatoes says:

    crayonshinobi and webwbr, thanks for the compliment on my name, I get that a lot.

    Anywho, economics is far to vast a topic to be simplified and argued about, but we all seem to be trying to do thusly. I heard a story about a Swedish businessman, who was rich, and it’s hard to get or stay rich in some of those scandinavian countries. But after he was well into his cups, and had railed against all the evil taxes he has to pay, he confessed something to the effect of: “even if I were the poorest guy in my country, I’d have at the very least, a roof over my head, and food in my belly.” But this isn’t to say that the “nanny state” is the way to go, but there are just so many injustices that happen every day. People being bred into stupidity, and kept penned up like sheep in ghettos. The myth of the “welfare queen” shitting out babies to get more government dole, (the vast majority of welfare recipients are single, white, mothers, put there because actual sex education is a “sin”). And the ridiculous assumption that people make that you can actually survive on welfare. There was a study done of welfare recipients, and they all supplemented their incomes with boyfriends or under the table jobs. There was one lady in the study, who was able to pay for everything with only welfare money. All her furniture was out of dumpsters, she skipped two meals a day to feed her children, shopped only at thrift stores, mended everything. Needless wars, mindless entertainment, and “Empty Causes” (excellent song by Bad Religion) to keep us all distracted from the perpetual problems that the arseholes in positions of undeserved, unearned power use to reap ever-increasing profits to satiate their greed.

    Flat taxes shift the lion’s share of the tax burden onto the middle class, which has nearly disappeared in this country. Who then, will get to pay and pay and pay for all the pork-barrel spending and congressional drug addicts’ re-election campaigns (the money for congressional campaigns comes from wealthy donors, not the public, but, the wealthy make their donation monies off the backs of the poor). The poor, who have been sold into an invisible contract of slavery will end up stuck with the bill, too stupid to realize they are slaves. And THIS is fair?

    Then, coming soon, we get to experience the microwaving of peaceful protest crowds, and tazing of 4 year old little girls.

    Wow, this turned into a little rant. Oh well, “Remember, a paranoid is merely someone in possession of all the facts.” – Spider Jerusalem

  14. @crayonshinobi: Even if you’re a stereotypical heartless capitalist, a flat tax which reduces the amount of tax paid by rich people like you inescapably means that, unless the government is happy to take a loss, poorer people now have to pay more. The money has to come from somewhere.

    (Well, sure, at the moment a lot of the money is coming from foreigners, but never mind that for now.)

    When poor people have to pay more tax – and they really do have to pay more tax, unlike rich people who can afford good accountants – more of them will be pushed out of (taxed) employment and/or below the poverty line, into penury and misery. That means more cash and barter your tax won’t touch, more welfare payments, more crime, more homelessness, more people with nothing to lose.

    Actually, name one thing about society that you don’t like, and it’s likely that regressive taxation that increases the number of poor people will make it worse.

    Wikipedia has an excellent page about flat taxes.

    Note also that the USA’s taxation as a proportion of GDP puts it 23rd out of 25 OECD countries. The only countries in the OECD with lower taxes are South Korea and Mexico.

    This causes people like me, who live in higher-ranked countries and are glad to do so, to wonder what the hell you Americans are complaining about.

  15. asherchang says:

    Sigh… so much of our taxes go towards beurocratic overhead, earmarks, and oil subsidies… I wouldn’t mind spending aproximately 40% of my income on taxes if I knew that it wouldn’t be wasted (and yes, everyone ends up paying about 40%, because sales tax is actually regressive).

  16. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    What the hell does Exxon need subsidies for? They reported $30 BILLION, yes 30 BILLION in profits last year. Cut off those subsidies, get rid of the personal income tax. Do you realize that government waste and the huge national debt came to being ONLY after the personal income tax was implemented? Before that the government spent on a cash only basis…no credit.

  17. thewb says:

    My frustration with the tax system prompted me to create http://www.lowtaxrate.com a free resource for taxpayers to understand their property tax, tax assessment and ways to lower lower property tax. The property tax system was set up to take advantage of property appreciation, now that values everywhere are low why should we pay more than our fair share of tax. It is the responsibility of all homeowners to challenge their assessment or just leave it up to an inefficient local government..