Mark Your Calendars

Tax Freedom Day is April 23rd:

Tax Freedom Day, the day on which Americans have earned enough money to pay all their federal, state and local taxes for the year, will fall on April 23 this year, according to the Tax Foundation’s annual calculation using the latest government data on income and taxes.

Tax Freedom Day is calculated by dividing the official government tally of all taxes collected in each year by the official government tally of all income earned in each year. Governments—federal, state and local—took 29.6% of income in 1970, 30.4% of income in 1980, 33.6% in 2000, and so on. This percentage is the nation’s total tax burden. We then use the historical trend and the most recent economic data to make a projection of what the tax burden will be in the current year and we convert that burden into a date—a percentage of the year—on which Americans will have earned enough income to pay their total tax bill for the year.

This year’s Tax Freedom Day falls three days earlier than in 2007. Fiscal stimulus rebates and a projection of slow growth in 2008 are the principal reasons for the earlier celebration. However, if the large projected deficit for 2008 were counted as a tax in the current year, Tax Freedom Day would fall on May 3.

More importantly, as the chart below reveals, Americans spend more on taxes at all levels than on any other category of spending:

In fact, taxes take up more time than Housing and Health Care combined.

Truly depressing.

  • Jeff Molby

    April? I thought it was June.

  • Ben

    Also truly depressing is how many Americans actually care? Obviously not many or there would be more outrage made about this.

  • Jono

    I no longer think tax freedom day is the correct metric to be using to show government waste and theft.

    Because the US treasury has sold off trillions in bonds, which are a liability for the government (future tax-payers) to repay a debt.

    Currently the Iraq War is not being completely funded out of annual tax revenues. So tax freedom day is much much much much further into the future then we think.

    Tax freedom day implies that “at least we have paid in full, for all the shiny things that government gives us”.

    If you take into account social security and the health system, and Iraq.. I think the concept would be more like “we are digging ourselves into a deeper hole every year and we cannot afford our lifestyle”.

  • Brad Warbiany


    There’s “Tax Freedom Day” and “Cost of Government Day”. The latter factors in the costs of regulation/etc, and has been in the late June or early July timeframe (typically depending on State) over the last few years.