Taxation in the United States

overview of taxation in the United States of America

The United States of America has separate federal, state, and local governments with taxes imposed at each of these levels. Taxes are levied on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates and gifts.

Taxes revenue by source chart history.png


  • There's a mystic quality about our tax system. No matter how bad it may be from the technical standpoint, it has a vitality because of the very high level of compliance
  • I suspect a complex society requires a complex tax law.
    • Sheldon S. Cohen, IRS commissioner at the time Brooks wrote his article, on why he believed prospects for simplifying the tax code were minimal.
  • For lots of folks, the tax cuts are lost in a sea of other deduction changes, which also happen January 1
Since personal exemptions were repealed, any allowances [you take] should roughly reflect expectations as to itemized deductions or tax credits to which you are entitled
  • No is the answer. I think it’s absolutely outrageous. Why should I? [pay US tax]
I think, you know, I’m not a … I, you know, I haven’t lived in the United States for, you know, well, since I was five years old … I pay the lion’s share of my tax, I pay my taxes to the full in the United Kingdom where I live and work.
It’s very difficult to give up [American passport].
  • ... in terms of business mistakes that I've seen over a long lifetime, I would say that trying to minimize taxes too much is one of the great standard causes of really dumb mistakes. I see terrible mistakes from people being overly motivated by tax considerations.
    Warren and I personally don't drill oil wells. We pay our taxes. And we've done pretty well, so far. Anytime somebody offers you a tax shelter from here on in life, my advice would be don't buy it.
    In fact, any time anybody offers you anything with a big commission and a 200-page prospectus, don't buy it. Occasionally, you'll be wrong if you adopt "Munger's Rule". However, over a lifetime, you'll be a long way ahead — and you will miss a lot of unhappy experiences that might otherwise reduce your love for your fellow man.
  • The tax refund is often the biggest windfall households receive all year
Households that have experienced income disruption during the pandemic are very likely to need to rebuild their emergency savings

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit