Infographic: How the U.S. Tax System Works

Jul 6, 2020

One issue that most lawmakers and voters agree on is that our tax system needs reform. It is confusing, complex, and favors some individuals and economic activities over others. Exactly how to improve the tax code, however, can be a hotly contested issue — which is further complicated by common misconceptions about how the current system works.

In addition to wanting to simplify the current tax code, some lawmakers have proposed tax reforms that would help mitigate rising income inequality. Others have proposed cutting payroll taxes in response to the current economic downturn.

Before we can begin to assess the value of specific proposals, it helps to look at the big picture of how the system works. Check out the infographic below for an overview of the system and then test how much you have learned with our tax quiz.

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How the U.S. Tax System Works

Last updated 7/6/2020

Who Pays Taxes?

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Tweet: Individual income #taxes account for more than half of the federal government's revenue via @pgpfoundation

Tweet: Tax myth: Low-income earners don't pay any federal #taxes via @pgpfoundation

Tweet: Total tax burdens are lower in the U.S. than among other advanced nations via @pgpfoundation

Tweet: What is the #TaxReform opportunity? via @pgpfoundation

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