Total revenue tax lawyer from direct and indirect taxes given as share of GDP in 2017[1]

A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or sah entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, local, or national).[ dua] A failure to pay in a timely manner, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent. The first known taxation took place in Ancient Egypt around 3000–2800 BC.

Most countries have a tax system in place, in order to pay for public, common, or agreed national needs and for the functions of government. Some levy a flat percentage rate of taxation on personal annual income, but most scale taxes are progressive based on brackets of annual income amounts. Most countries charge a tax on an individual’s income as well as on corporate income. Countries or subunits often also impose wealth taxes, inheritance taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, use taxes, payroll taxes,duties and/or tariffs.

In economic terms, taxation transfers wealth from households or businesses to the government. This has effects that can both increase and reduce economic growth and economic welfare. Consequently, taxation is a highly debated topic. Overview[edit]

The sah definition and the economic definition of taxes differ in some ways such that economists do not regard many transfers to governments as taxes. For example, some transfers to the public sector are comparable to prices. Examples include tuition at public universities and fees for utilities provided by local governments. Governments also obtain resources by “creating” money and coins (for example, by printing bills and by minting coins), through voluntary gifts (for example, contributions to public universities and museums), by imposing penalties (such as traffic fines), by borrowing and confiscating criminal proceeds. From the view of economists, a tax is a non-penal, yet compulsory transfer of resources from the private to the public sector, levied on a basis of predetermined criteria and without reference to specific benefits received.

In terkini taxation systems, governments levy taxes in money; but in-kind and corvée taxation are characteristic of traditional or pre-capitalist states and their functional equivalents. The method of taxation and the government expenditure of taxes raised is often highly debated in politics and tax attorney economics. Tax collection is performed by a government agency such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom, the Canada Revenue Agency or the Australian Taxation Office. When taxes are not fully paid, the state may impose civil penalties (such as fines or forfeiture) or criminal penalties (such as incarceration) on the non-paying entity or individual. [3] Purposes and effects[edit]

The levying of taxes aims to raise revenue to fund governing or to alter prices in order to affect demand. States and their functional equivalents throughout history have used the money provided by taxation to carry out many functions. Some of these include expenditures on economic infrastructure (roads, public transportation, sanitation, sah systems, public security, public education, public health systems), military, scientific research & development, culture and the arts, public works, distribution, data collection and dissemination, public insurance, and the operation of government itself. A government’s ability to raise taxes is called its fiscal capacity.

When expenditures exceed tax revenue, a government accumulates government debt. A portion of taxes may be used to service past debts. Governments also use taxes to fund welfare and public services. These services can include education systems, pensions for the elderly, unemployment benefits, transfer payments, subsidies and public transportation. Energy, water and waste management systems are also common public utilities.

According to the proponents of the chartalist theory of money creation, taxes are not needed for government revenue, as long as the government in question is able to issue fiat money. According to this view, the purpose of taxation is to maintain the stability of the currency, express public policy regarding the distribution of wealth, subsidizing certain industries or population groups or isolating the costs of certain benefits, such as highways or social security. [4]

Effects of taxes can be divided into two mendasar categories:Taxes cause an income effect because they reduce purchasing power to taxpayers. Taxes cause a substitution effect when taxation causes a substitution between taxed goods and untaxed goods.

Substitution effect and income effect with a taxation on y good.

If we consider, for instance, two normal goods, x and y, whose prices are respectively px and py and an individual budget constraint given by the equation xpx + ypy = Y, where Y is the income, the slope of the budget constraint, in a graph where is represented good x on the vertical axis and good y on the horizontal axes,is equal to -py/px . The initial equilibrium is in the point (C), in which budget constraint and indifference curve are tangent, introducing an ad valorem tax on the y good (budget constraint: pxx + py(1 + τ)y = Y), the budget constraint’s slope becomes equal to -py(1 + τ)/px. The new equilibrium is now in the tangent point (A) with a lower indifferent curve.

As can be noticed the tax’s introduction causes two consequences:It changes the consumers’ real income (less purchasing power)It raises the relative price of y good.

The income effect shows the variation of y good quantity given by the change of real income. The substitution effect shows the variation of y good determined by relative prices’ variation. This kind of taxation (that causes the substitution effect) can be considered distortionary.

Budget’s constraint shift after an introduction of a lump sum tax or a general tax on consumption or a proportional income tax.

Another example can be the introduction of an income lump-sum tax (xpx + ypy = Y – T), with a parallel shift downward of the budget constraint, can be produced a higher revenue with the same loss of consumers’ utility compared with the property tax case, from another point of view, the same revenue can be produced with a lower utility sacrifice. The lower utility (with the same revenue) or the lower revenue (with the same utility) given by a distortionary tax are called excess pressure. The same result, reached with an income lump-sum tax, can be obtained with these following types of taxes (all of them cause only a budget constraint’s shift without causing a substitution effect), the budget constraint’s slope remains the same (-px/py):A general tax on consumption: (Budget constraint: px(1 + τ)x + py(1 + τ)y = Y)A proportional income tax:(Budget constraint: xpx + ypy = Y(1 – t))

When the t and τ rates are chosen respecting this equation (where t is the rate of income tax and tau is the consumption tax’s rate):

the effects of the two taxes are the same.

A tax effectively changes the relative prices of products. Therefore, most economists, especially neoclassical economists, argue that taxation creates market distortion and results in economic inefficiency unless there are (positive or negative) externalities associated with the activities that are taxed that need to be internalized to reach an efficient market outcome. They have therefore sought to identify the kind of tax system that would minimize this distortion. Recent scholarship suggests that in the United States of America, the federal government effectively taxes investments in higher education more heavily than it subsidizes higher education, thereby contributing to a shortage of skilled workers and unusually high differences in pre-tax earnings between highly educated and less-educated workers.

Taxes can even have effects on labor supply: we can consider a model in which the consumer chooses the number of hours spent working and the amount spent on consumption. Let us suppose that only one good exists and no income is saved.