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Types of Taxes in US

News & Blog

There are a variety of taxes paid by citizens, residents, and visitors within the United States. Some of these taxes are levied by the federal government while others are levied by state and local jurisdictions. We describe some of these tax types below:

Capital Gains Tax: This tax is applied to the profit of the sale of an asset. Profit occurs if the item is sold for more than it was purchased.

Estate Tax / Inheritance Tax / Gift Tax: These are taxes placed on the value of assets transferred from a person or business entity to a spouse, heir, or other beneficiary. The amount of tax applied varies based on the value of the assets, the number of beneficiaries, etc. Estate planning attorneys can assist in finding legal ways to reduce this tax.

Hospitality Tax / Hotel Tax / Airport Tax: This tax is typically applied to entertainment and travel related services, including airport, car rental, and hotel fees.

Luxury Tax: This is a tax levied on products or services that are considered non-essential. It can be applied to the purchase of certain types of airplanes, furniture, jewelry, vehicles, yachts, etc.

Payroll Tax: This is a group of taxes levied on income and wages. These taxes are usually proportional to income. Some of these taxes include: federal income tax, medicare tax, social security tax, and state income tax.

Property or Real Estate Tax: Property tax is money owed to a specific jurisdiction based on the assessed value of the real estate property. Some states set property value at the time of sale, while others assign values based on market value. Property taxes are typically used to pay for public schools, community colleges, and other local government activities. Cities with the highest and lowest property tax rates are: Bridgeport, CT (3.88%), Detroit, MI (3.81%), Aurora, IL (3.72%), Newark, NJ (3.05%), Birmingham, AL (0.66%), Denver, CO (0.66%), Cheyenne, WY (0.65%), and Honolulu, HI (0.30%).

Sales Tax: In most states, you are charged a tax when you purchase an item. 5 states do not have statewide sales taxes: Alaska (AK), Delaware (DE), Montana (MT), New Hampshire (NH), and Oregon (OR). The top three states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.46%), Louisiana (9.45%), and Arkansas (9.42%).

Sin Tax: This tax is applied to products and services that are deemed harmful. The tax is partially designed to deter people from using that item. Some sin products and services include alcohol and tobacco.

Value Added Tax (VAT): It is a tax placed on a product whenever value is added at each stage of the supply chain, from production to point of sale (POS). More than 160 countries use value-added taxation, and it is most commonly found in the European Union (EU). The US does not have a value-added tax.

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