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Two trillion dollars in U.S. federal taxes

A breakdown of personal, corporate, and foreign sources of revenue


The deadline for filing personal income taxes is approaching fast, which you probably know. But how much do you know about the big picture for taxes? This FRED graph helps shed some light on the issue by showing the total amounts of federal taxes paid over the past 5 years, separated by the sources of those taxes. As of the fourth quarter of 2018, federal taxes amounted to over $2 trillion. Clearly, personal income taxes are far and away the largest contributor. Production taxes and import tariffs are now in second place, only recently surpassing corporate income taxes, which have decreased recently. In fourth place are taxes from the rest of the world.

Also, in the sample shown here, the recent tax reform is clearly visible, with dips in all sources of taxes from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018, with one exception: Production taxes and import tariffs increased from $133 billion to $149 billion, which partly accounts for the change in the rankings noted above.

How this graph was created: From the Federal Government Current Receipts and Expenditures release table, check the relevant series and click “Add to Graph.” Then, from the “Edit Graph” panel, open the “Format” tab, and select graph type “Area” and “Stacked.” You may have to move a series or two up in the order if their last value is missing.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: A074RC1Q027SBEA, B075RC1Q027SBEA, W007RC1Q027SBEA, W008RC1Q027SBEA


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