Tax Freedom Day changes slightly every year. It marks the point in the year when taxpayers have worked long enough to pay their taxes every year. This year, it’s April 24. That means that if you took every cent you had earned in 2015, you would have accumulated enough to pay your taxes by April 24:
“Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its federal, state, and local tax bill for the year,” explained the Tax Foundation. “Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2015, Americans will pay $3.28 trillion in federal taxes and $1.57 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.85 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year.
“This year, Americans will work the longest to pay federal, state, and local individual income taxes (43 days),” the report stated. “Payroll taxes will take 26 days to pay, followed by sales and excise taxes (15 days), corporate income taxes (12 days), and property taxes (11 days). The remaining 7 days are spent paying estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties, and other taxes.
For some reference, Tax Freedom Day in 1910 was January 19 (the earliest recorded). And you may wonder, “Are current Americans really all that much better off now that we pay many times more in taxes?” I think I can answer your question: “No.”
Some people question the idea of Tax Freedom Day. They say that paying taxes is not really “working for someone else,” since we all enjoy benefits from paying our taxes. But that’s not entirely true. Most of the people who pay taxes are not actually gaining a return on their investment. Most of the people who receive government benefits (like “free” education, healthcare, food, housing, etc.) pay nothing. So maybe they don’t have a Tax Freedom Day. But the rest of us really do. We spend a large portion of the year working so that other people can get government handouts. It’s a sobering thought. We haven’t even finished paying for this year.