Profile American: Federal Income Tax

Friday, February 3 — It may be hard to credit, but there used to be a time when the public sphere wasn’t filled with squabbling about income tax rates. The familiar noise began 104 years ago today, when the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, authorizing Congress to levy taxes on income. In its first two years, the tax was modest, affecting only a very few citizens and provided only a small part of the government’s total revenue. But the need to fund our involvement in World War I moved income taxes to the center of federal finances. In 2015, individuals paid around $1.9 trillion in federal income tax, while state and local income taxes amounted to over $348 billion in that tax year 2015.

You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy’ mobile application here.

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