Tax Freedom Day comes three days earlier than last year

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Tax Freedom Day falls on April 23 this year, according to the Tax Foundation. Each year the Tax Foundation calculates how many days Americans must work to pay all of their taxes, assuming all of your wages would go to pay taxes first. Then the remaining days of the year, all of your wages are assumed to be kept by you.

This is just one measure of the tax burden placed upon Americans, and it's based upon data released by the Congressional Budget Office. I don't know about you, but I do feel overburdened by taxes, especially when I have little say in how my tax money is spent.

And here's how the days are broken down: This year Americans must work 74 days to pay for all their federal taxes, and an additional 39 days to pay all state and local taxes. In comparison, Americans work 60 days to pay housing expenses and 35 days to pay clothing expenses. Fifty days are worked to pay for health care, and 29 days are worked to pay for transportation costs.

I like this analysis because of the perspective it provides. Working 74 days to pay federal taxes is ridiculous, when you see how much greater that is than any other expense that we have. It's clear to me that government in America has gotten out of control, at all levels. Americans should be able to keep more of their own money, and decide for themselves how it is spent, rather than spending a total of 113 days working just to have that money taken away from them and spent as someone else sees fit.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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