20 Tax Facts That Will Make Your Head Explode

Tea Party

Whatever their political perspective, people find reasons to get upset on tax day.

Pundits talk a lot about the growing tax share of the rich, and the 47% of Americans who don’t pay income tax. These arguments are somewhat unfair because they ignore the growing wealth disparity.

But they’re just two of many ridiculous facts that emerge in this giant bureaucratic mess.

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[slide
permalink=”the-irs-has-more-employees-than-there-are-people-in-flint-michigan-106k-vs-102k-1″
title=”The IRS has more employees than there are people in Flint, Michigan (106K vs 102K)”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dac1d2b4bd7c82c3f130000″
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[slide
permalink=”you-could-fill-dallas-with-the-number-of-accountants-americans-hire-to-help-with-taxes-each-year-over-a-million-2″
title=”You could fill Dallas with the number of accountants Americans hire to help with taxes each year (over a million)”
content=”Source: Economist
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dac1ef549e2ae615f0f0000″
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[slide
permalink=”americans-spend-28-billion-and-8-billion-hours-each-year-doing-their-taxes-3″
title=”Americans spend $28 billion and 8 billion hours each year doing their taxes.”
content=”Source: Economist
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc62b3f7f8b9ad13a810000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”in-1915-a-chicago-lawyer-said-the-tax-form-was-so-complicated-that-it-is-utterly-impossible-to-understand-its-meaning-save-by-consulting-a-palmist-back-then-the-tax-code-was-400-pages-long-4″
title=”In 1915, a Chicago lawyer said the tax form was “so complicated that it is utterly impossible to understand its meaning save by consulting a palmist.” (Back then the tax code was 400 pages long.)”
content=”Source: Tax.com and Reason
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dac2423cadcbbd73c100000″
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[slide
permalink=”the-number-of-pages-in-the-tax-code-has-increased-16775-in-the-past-century-5″
title=”The number of pages in the tax code has increased 16,775% in the past century”
content=”Based on figures from this awesome video at Reason.tv
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc639ed7f8b9adc7de00300″
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[slide
permalink=”84-of-people-think-it-is-not-at-all-acceptable-to-cheat-on-your-taxes-and-yet-6″
title=”84% of people think it is NOT AT ALL acceptable to cheat on your taxes. And yet…”
content=”Source: IRS (PDF)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc706867f8b9ab757be0700″
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]
[slide
permalink=”90-percent-of-people-who-employ-babysitters-and-housekeepers-end-up-cheating-on-their-taxes-7″
title=”90 per cent of people who employ babysitters and housekeepers end up cheating on their taxes”
content=”Source: New York Times
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc6374d7f8b9a677ea40000″
caption=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”tax-rates-are-declining-for-everyone-but-especially-the-top-1-8″
title=”Tax rates are declining for everyone, but especially the top 1%”
content=”Source: Get Rich Slowly
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc6ee5d7f8b9a7054170500″
caption=””
credit=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”so-how-come-rich-people-are-paying-more-taxes-than-ever-because-they-are-gaining-wealth-faster-than-the-tax-rate-is-declining-9″
title=”So how come rich people are paying more taxes than ever? Because they are gaining wealth faster than the tax rate is declining!”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc5fa017f8b9a4152820000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”47-percent-of-americans-pay-no-federal-income-taxes-but-they-do-pay-state-and-local-taxes-sales-tax-gas-tax-utility-tax-cigarette-tax-and-other-tariffs-10″
title=”47 per cent of Americans pay no federal income taxes; but they do pay state and local taxes, sales tax, gas tax, utility tax, cigarette tax and other tariffs”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4baa66227f8b9aa6177c0c00″
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[slide
permalink=”a-100k-earner-takes-home-62-in-new-york-she-would-take-home-72-in-dallas-11″
title=”A $100K earner takes home 62% in New York. She would take home 72% in Dallas.”
content=”Data is net % to employee after social and income tax, for an unmarried person with a $100k salary. See Forbes for the full chart.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc61c387f8b9a3937190d00″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-400-best-compensated-americans-earned-an-average-of-345-million-apiece-2007-12″
title=”The 400 best-compensated Americans earned an average of $345 million apiece (2007)”
content=”Source: AP
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cb358a37f8b9aaf0f220100″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-average-federal-income-tax-rate-for-these-400-was-17-this-is-down-from-26-in-1992-thank-low-capital-gains-taxes-13″
title=”The average federal income tax rate for these 400 was 17%. This is down from 26% in 1992. (Thank low capital gains taxes).”
content=”Source: AP
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b01d3b10000000000059115″
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[slide
permalink=”new-york-city-has-the-highest-corporate-income-tax-in-the-world-14″
title=”New York City has the highest corporate income tax in the world”
content=”Blue is corporate income tax. See Forbes for full chart.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc61a5d7f8b9ac8389c0400″
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[slide
permalink=”thanks-to-big-loopholes-ge-paid-no-taxes-on-us-operating-income-of-51-billion-actually-they-claimed-a-32-billion-tax-benefit-15″
title=”Thanks to big loopholes, GE paid no taxes on U.S. operating income of $5.1 billion. Actually, they claimed a $3.2 billion tax benefit”
content=”Source: NYT
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d4052784bd7c88406040000″
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[slide
permalink=”business-insider-pays-more-in-taxes-than-ge-16″
title=”Business Insider pays more in taxes than GE”
content=”Read more here >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ce6a615ccd1d5c15b010000″
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[slide
permalink=”over-100-companies-on-the-sp-500-paid-less-than-20-percent-in-federal-taxes-the-corporate-tax-rate-is-supposed-to-be-35-percent-17″
title=”Over 100 companies on the S&P 500 paid less than 20 per cent in federal taxes. (The corporate tax rate is supposed to be 35 per cent)”
content=”For instance, Amazon paid 4.33%. See other tax dodgers here >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d46df03ccd1d5f661180000″
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[slide
permalink=”nicholas-cage-owes-around-146-million-in-back-taxes-thats-more-than-his-last-movie-drive-angry-3d-earned-on-opening-weekend-18″
title=”Nicholas Cage owes around $14.6 million in back taxes. That’s more than his last movie, Drive Angry 3D, earned on opening weekend”
content=”Source: BI and LAT
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dac28c8cadcbb5e48000000″
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[slide
permalink=”at-least-we-arent-sweden-where-the-top-income-tax-rate-is-565-19″
title=”At least we aren’t Sweden, where the top income tax rate is 56.5%.”
content=”Source: OECD
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cb5d6bd7f8b9a64761f0000″
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[slide
permalink=”another-gift-to-rich-people-hidden-in-the-new-tax-deal-5-million-tax-free-gift-exemptions-up-from-1-million-previously-20″
title=”Another gift to rich people hidden in the new tax deal: $5 million tax-free gift exemptions, up from $1 million previously”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4c9b8e947f8b9a062d080000″
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[slide
permalink=”where-does-it-all-go-21″
title=”Where does it all go?”
content=”How The %&$! Do You Spend $3.7 Trillion?
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d4af349cadcbba14c0f0000″
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