To tax (from the Latin taxo; "I estimate", which in turn is from tangō; "I touch"). Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities. Taxes consist of direct tax or indirect tax, and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent (often but not always unpaid). A tax may be defined as a "pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property owners to support the government […] a payment exacted by legislative authority." A tax "is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority" and is "any contribution imposed by government […] whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name."
The legal definition and the economic definition of taxes differ in that economists do not consider many transfers to governments to be 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 (e.g, printing bills and minting coins), through voluntary gifts (e.g., contributions to public universities and museums),by imposing penalties (e.g,, traffic fines), by borrowing, and by confiscating wealth (as communist governments often do when they sieze power). 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 benefit received.
In modern taxation systems, taxes are levied 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 economics. Tax collection is performed by a government agency such as Canada Revenue Agency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, or Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK. When taxes are not fully paid, civil penalties (such as fines or forfeiture) or criminal penalties (such as incarceration) may be imposed on the non-paying entity or individual.
I don't think anyone like taxes other than the legislative bodies that impose this form of payment :-) Having said that, taxes are essential for a government to balance its budget. A lousy government does a bad job of doing so, thereby having to increase its burden on its people. A good one manages to keep every aspect of life in perspective, thereby balances its income and expenditure. Very much like an individual. The major part of taxes collected by government … more
“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increases,” the President told a crowd in Dover, N.H. on Sept. 12, 2008. “Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” When Obama made that promise in 2008, my inclination was disbelief. However, I pondered the Bush Tax Cuts which were set to expire during Obama's Presidency and … more