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Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year in which a person (or population) has earned enough money to pay all his or her (or their) annual taxes. The concept was introduced by the Tax Foundation[?]—a body advocating lower taxation—as a tool for illustrating the proportion of the income paid in taxes by American citizens.

In the United States, Tax Freedom Day for 2003 was April 19, the lowest since 1992. The latest that Tax Freedom Day has occurred is April 30 in 2000. In the 20th century, Tax Freedom Day came as early as January 18 (in 1912). It has steadily moved later into the year, which means that the average net tax burden has increased.

Tax Freedom Day differs from state to state, as American states charge a variety of state taxes and charges. In 2001, Alaskans had the slightest tax burden, earning enough to pay all their tax obligations by April 16. Connecticut had by far the heaviest tax burden—Tax Freedom Day there came on May 25. New Yorkers had the second heaviest tax burden, having to work until May 14 to pay their taxes.

According to the Tax Foundation, here is the list of Tax Freedom Days in the U.S. since 1990:

 1990  20-Apr    1997  26-Apr
 1991  19-Apr    1998  27-Apr
 1992  19-Apr    1999  28-Apr
 1993  20-Apr    2000  30-Apr
 1994  21-Apr    2001  27-Apr
 1995  23-Apr    2002  19-Apr
 1996  24-Apr    2003  19-Apr

From an international point of view the Tax Freedom Day may differ even more. In Denmark, Tax Freedom Day for 2001 was August 14.

Critics of the concept argue that the methodology used exaggerates the amount of tax paid by middle-income taxpayers, as it is calculated, essentially, by dividing the tax raised by gross domestic product - thus producing a distortion as the rich pay a much higher proportion of their income in tax. Another significant distortion, pointed out by Alan Greenspan, in the result is capital gains tax[?] - as income from capital gains is not counted as part of GDP.

See also: income tax

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