No Tax Assessed On Personal Income

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Through much of the United States of America’s early history, there was no tax assessed on personal income. Because our nation was formed following a rebellion against England for “taxation without representation”, the founding fathers recognized the need for the new government to be able to tax fairly to operate. But the initial taxes levied by the fledgling U.S. were almost exclusively excise taxes levied against such things as whiskey, tobacco, slaves, and land grants. Only due to the large debts incurred at the beginning of the Civil War, did the Congress pass the first individual income tax. With mounting spending pressure in the Civil War, the Federal Government in 1862 passed its first tiered system of income tax with certain…show more content…
In theory those who make the most money pay the highest percentage in taxes. In 2017, the individual tax rates are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% or 39.6% with incomes between each bracket being assessed that respective percentage. Over the history of our Federal income tax system, the highest rate has reached as high as 70%. In addition, under our tax legislation, the U. S. Department of the Treasury keeps a portion of the gain on the sale of capital assets at the time of sale. That increase, as measured by the difference between the current sales price (fair market value) and the original cost to the taxpayer (sometimes adjusted), is taxed as “capital gain”. Like ordinary income, the tax on capital gains is progressive but only modestly so since the capital gains tax rates are currently either 0%, 15% or 20%. There are also additional rules in determining capital gains as to certain types of assets or through depreciation recapture, etc. which make even this part of the income tax system complex.
It is worth noting that the Federal system taxes corporations (double taxation), estates, trusts and most every form of business enterprise unless the entity is a pass-through, where income is deemed to pass to its owners, such as for partnerships.
What are some of the advantages of this progressive income tax regime?
Because it is progressive, those individuals who make more money, pay a marginally higher rate and
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