Taxes - Fast Facts
All fast facts for Federal Spending are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO),
the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR), the Department of Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),
and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). They do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Some simply provide historical
context. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement. As always, verify
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In 2009 (most recent data), the "share" of federal taxes owed was 0.3 percent for households in the lowest income quintile, 9.4 percent for households in the middle quintile, and 67.9 percent for those in the highest quintile.
In many high-tax countries, taxes embody little progressivity - this is particularly the case in Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands. And household taxes are more progressive in the United States than in most EU countries.
Household taxes absorbed more than 35% of household disposable income in Austria, Denmark and Sweden in the late 2000s, but their redistributive impact was lower than in Australia, Israel and the United States, all characterised by a much lower tax-to-income ratio. In many high-tax countries, taxes embody little progressivity - this is particularly the case in Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands. And household taxes are more progressive in the United States than in most EU countries. However, some countries (including Chile, Korea and Japan) combine a relatively low tax take with very little progressivity.
Some of the countries with the highest inequality in market income tend to redistribute more through household taxes than less unequal countries.
From the beginning of the Republic until the start of the Civil War, our Nation relied on customs duties to finance the activities of the Federal Government. During the 19th Century, sales of public lands supplemented customs duties. While large amounts were occasionally obtained from the sale of lands, customs duties amounts for over 90 percent of Federal receipts in most years prior to the Civil War.