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View Poll Results: What has been your average effective tax rate over the years?

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  • <5%

    0 0%
  • 5%

    0 0%
  • 6%

    0 0%
  • 7%

    0 0%
  • 8%

    0 0%
  • 9%

    0 0%
  • 10%

    0 0%
  • 11%

    0 0%
  • 12%

    0 0%
  • 13%

    1 12.50%
  • 14%

    1 12.50%
  • 15%

    1 12.50%
  • 16%

    0 0%
  • 17%

    1 12.50%
  • 18%

    0 0%
  • 19%

    0 0%
  • 20%

    0 0%
  • >20%

    4 50.00%
  • I do not pay income taxes because I am a dependent for someone who does

    0 0%
  • Nobody in my family pays income taxes

    0 0%
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  1. #1

    Default For those of you who work, what is your effective tax rate?

    I've come to the realization, that many times, when people make statements like "47% or 51% of Americans don't pay taxes", they may be referring to whether or not you owe or get back money on Tax day. I'll admit in pretty much all my years I get back a tiny bit of money, but I set my deductions in such a way as to make this as close to $0 as possible.

    I wanted to find out how people on this forum actually experienced their tax situation. Almost everyone I know who has worked year long, has rates in this ball park. So I am really, really curious--who is out there not paying taxes? Do they really exist? Are people talking about college students and minors?

    The poll posted is anonymous. I am curious to know whether people have calculated their effective tax rates over the years. Although during my last several years before returning to school I may have no longer been in the middle class, and I returned to school last year, I think most of my working life, I would have been considered middle class.

    My effective tax rates since I graduated undergrad (rounded to the nearest percent):
    2001 18%
    2002 15%
    2003 15%
    2004 15%
    2005 18%
    2006 12%
    2007 14%
    2008 14%
    2009 3%
    2010 14%
    2011 16%

    Other than for a few anomalous events in 2005, 2006 and 2009 (for those of you who know me well, you will have a good idea regarding why that year is so low), my effective tax-rate went down as I started making more money, though only slightly.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Default

    Europe here started working in 2005 and it has been between 15 and 28, increasing (however, I´ve been earning a bit more each year). If I take into account health insurance, it´d be around 40%.

    who is out there not paying taxes? Do they really exist?
    Some hardcore libertarians imply that people who work for the government don´t actually "pay taxes" since their taxes are just an accounting mechanism - they just get a lower salary.

    I guess some people living completely off welfare don´t pay taxes either, although I don´t think there´s that many in the US.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #3

    Default

    Well, I don't know whether to count health insurance.

    I am not counting what was taken out of my pay check explicitly for Social Security and Medicare (or some other things like disability insurance). In the U.S., effective income for these purposes are accounted for differently than income for federal(national) and state taxes.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #4
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    A poll range up to only 20% is a bit too low for european voters.

    I have:
    9 % protestant church tax (I could get rid of that but I like what that church does socially)
    15.5 % health insurance
    16.39 % compulsory long-term care insurance + annuity insurance + unemployment insurance
    1.41 % companies annuity insurance

    42.3 %
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    A poll range up to only 20% is a bit too low for european voters.

    I have:
    9 % protestant church tax (I could get rid of that but I like what that church does socially)
    15.5 % health insurance
    16.39 % compulsory long-term care insurance + annuity insurance + unemployment insurance
    1.41 % companies annuity insurance

    42.3 %

    The systems are too different for me to compare. Like I stated before, I didn't count my contributions to social welfare programs or insurance (nor charity).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #6
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    A poll range up to only 20% is a bit too low for european voters.

    I have:
    9 % protestant church tax (I could get rid of that but I like what that church does socially)
    15.5 % health insurance
    16.39 % compulsory long-term care insurance + annuity insurance + unemployment insurance
    1.41 % companies annuity insurance

    42.3 %
    I think americans will tell you (generally) that health insurance and pension schemes aren't taxes, even though I personally disagree since they are compulsory...perhaps health insurance can be taken away
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #7
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Default

    Self employed, about 17%
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  8. #8
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    asia based. i'm in the highest bracket tax rate at 37%.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  9. #9
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I think americans will tell you (generally) that health insurance and pension schemes aren't taxes, even though I personally disagree since they are compulsory...perhaps health insurance can be taken away
    Hehe ...americans...

    If I was american president I'ld invent a weapon tax for the free right of every person to own a weapon. And with the money earned, I'ld finance welfare programs. So either way, if people hate welfare they wont be able to own armaments no more. If they love their weapons, they'ld finance health insurance.

    I just have to come up with a plan about what to do with those who hate welfare and weaponry, plus the increased numbers of homicide and murder.

    When I extract the pure earnings taxes, which I forgot to in my post above, I get this:

    16,58 % earnings tax (solidarity tax for eastern Germany included)

    I think the pure earnings tax rate is around 16 - 20 %
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Default

    ygolo, what I'd be really interested in seeing is how things like sales and property tax (including the portion of rent that goes to pay for property taxes) fit into that. It wouldn't surprise me if the poor and middle class paid significantly higher taxes as a percentage of income compared to the wealthy because the capital gains tax is so low.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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