A charge assessed on an individual
or on property for the purpose of supporting the functioning of the government.
Such charges may be imposed on sale of property or goods, imports, exports,
wages and income, privileges, and just about anything else that one can think
of. Although usually thought of as being monetary in nature, it is not
The act of imposing a charge
upon individuals or property by a government or other taxing authority; to
strain or place weight upon.
abatement of taxes
ad valorem tax. Latin.
In proportion to its value; a proportional tax
imposed upon something’s value, rather than on its quantity (especially on real
alternative minimum tax
A flat tax originally imposed upon corporations or
individuals with high incomes in the event that they wrote off all their income
through use of deductions, credits, and contributions. It was enacted to make
sure that these parties paid at least some income tax, but it also can affect
capital gains tax
A tax imposed on the property of a decedent that diminishes the
value of the total estate to the inheritor. See also inheritance tax.
A quarterly amount paid by persons whose income is not subject to
witholding tax, in anticipation of what that person’s income tax liability will
be come April 15 of the following year.
A tax that remains a constant percentage regardless of the size of
the amount being taxed. Most state sales taxes are flat taxes.
A tax imposed upon the inheritor of property, sometimes known as a
succession tax. There is no federal inheritance tax, but many states have
statutes imposing such taxes. See also estate tax.
valorem tax upon (usually) real property, usually imposed by states and
municipalities in order to support local and state services, such as schooling
A tax that creates a greater burden on those less well off than on
those with a higher income. The structure of most sales taxes make them
regressive in nature. See also progressive tax
A tax on the selling price of goods and some services levied by
some states and some municipalities. Those goods and services taxed varies from
state to state, as does the rate of taxation. The tax is usually a fixed
percentage of the price and is tacked onto that price. See also flat tax.
An amount tacked onto an already taxed article, or onto the tax itself; a
surcharge. See also surcharge
Same as an estate tax.
unified estate and gift tax
A federal law that imposes a tax on the net worth
of an estate and on gifts of and above a certain amount. Both estates and
lifetime gifts are treated the same way, with the transferror being responsible
for the payment of the tax, but with the responsibility passing to the
transferee in the event that the former fails to pay it. Also known as the
unified transfer tax.
A tax imposed by some jurisdictions on goods bought outside that
jurisdiction, and so not subject to that jurisdiction’s sales tax. It is usally
set at the same rate as the sales tax and is meant to discourage shopping
outside the jurisdiction. See also sales tax
value added tax
A tax imposed at each step in the production or construction
of a manufactured good based upon the difference between the cost of producing
the item and its selling price. Abbreviated V.A.T.
The amount of income tax that is witheld from the paychecks of
employees and sent directly to the government by the employer. It is counted as
a credit toward that individual’s tax liability when tax returns are filed.