The Fair Tax – How Does It Work? #oktcot #tcot #fairtax #teaparty #fb

Abolish the IRS
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This section which explains how the Fair Tax operates is short, in essence, because the tax system is so simple.  This section concludes by demonstrating how the tax will work in the context of a couple with two children.

First, it is important to understand that under the Fair Tax several taxes will be repealed including the individual income tax, the alternative minimum tax, corporate and business income taxes, capital gains taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, the self-employment tax, estate taxes, and gift taxes.[1] Instead, a 23 percent consumption tax on new items will be imposed at the retail level.  The consumption tax will not be imposed upon used or pre-owned items.  H. R. 25 uses 23 percent because that is the amount necessary to cover all current federal expenditures.   The beauty of the Fair Tax is that the 23 percent rate imposed in H.R. 25 can be lowered if spending cuts are made.

The consumption tax is collected by businesses dealing with taxable goods and services and remitted to the state governments, who will in turn pass the tax to the federal government.  Recall that purveyors of used items, like cars, would not collect the tax because used cars are not covered.  For collecting the tax, businesses and the states will receive one quarter of one percent of what they collect to cover the costs.

Finally, because it is important that everyone be treated fairly, including low income families, every family in America, no matter their level of income, will receive a prebate[2] check to cover the cost of taxes on the basic necessities of life.[3] Each head of household will receive this prebate every month to reimburse them for the sales tax they pay on all spending up to the federal poverty level.[4] The amount of the prebate will be determined by the government’s published poverty levels for various sized households.  To receive the prebate, the head of household will submit a list of those in the house along with their social security numbers to be placed in a database.  A person spending at the poverty level has a 0 percent effective tax rate while someone spending at twice the poverty level would have an effective tax rate of 11.5 percent.[5]

Using a couple with two children as an example, I’ll demonstrate exactly how the Fair Tax will work.  If they spend $45 on groceries a week under the current income tax system then when all of the embedded taxes are removed the price of those groceries will be lessened by around 22 percent to $35.10.  When the Fair Tax is added, the price of those groceries will be $45.58, which is only 58 cents more than they were paying.[6] However, under the Fair Tax this family will receive their entire paycheck back.  If the employers fail to take taxes out of price, the addition of formerly-withheld income taxes and payroll taxes to their paycheck will give them a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in take home pay.[7] The poverty level in 2009 for a family of four is set at $29,140[8] and the family will receive a prebate of $6,702 to be paid in twelve installments.[9]


[1] Boortz, p. 75

[2] An advance rebate

[3] Boortz, p. 79

[4] Boortz, p. 80

[5] Americans For Fair Taxation, http://www.fairtax.org, Karen Walby, Ph.D., February 16, 2009.

[6] Boortz, p. 84

[7] Boortz, p. 84

[8] Federal Register, Vol. 74 No. 14, January 23, 2009, pp. 4199-4201.

[9] Federal Register, Vol. 74 No. 14, January 23, 2009, pp. 4199-4201.

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5 Reasons the American Tax Payer Should Support the Fair Tax! Pt 2 – Cost of Compliance #oktcot #tcot #fb

Have you paid your income tax this month ?
Image by Walt Jabsco via Flickr

We just passed Tax Day, everyone’s favorite time of year.  Do you remember the last time you filled out the 1040 yourself?  It’s such a nerve racking experience sorting through Schedule C and trying to find Line 52 that many Americans have their taxes professionally done to avoid the hassle or making a mistake which could cause the IRS to breath down their necks.  I forked over $50 per return last year to avoid the horror.  That’s $100 that I didn’t invest or use to buy 20 DVDs from Wal-Mart’s $5 bin.

In 2005, it is estimated that 6 billion hours and $265,000,000,000 were spent complying with the income tax.[1] Those are hours not well wasted.  That is money that was not invested voluntarily by individuals in worthwhile programs like cancer research or used by families for much needed vacations.  Almost 56 percent of this cost is paid by business, 2.5 percent is paid by non-profit organizations, and the remaining 42 percent is paid by the American tax payer.[2] In reality, the cost of compliance paid by the individual is much higher because businesses factor the cost of complying with the tax code into prices rather than taking a hit to their profits.

As mentioned in the section on withholding, the income tax is debited directly from the worker’s paycheck.  Many Americans are debited 25 percent for income tax and 8 percent for payroll taxes for a total of 33 percent before they even receive their check.[3] That’s 33 cents on the dollar that they cannot invest and earn interest off of.

Without the income tax system, we will see the money that is normally spent on compliance being pumped into independent research and development, job creation, personal savings, and pursuing the American Dream.


[1] Boortz, p. 43, fn 2

[2] Boortz, p. 44

[3] Boortz, p. 42, fn. 1

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