Americans Spend More on Taxes Than Food, Clothing

Taxes increase

New data shows Americans spent nearly double on taxes than they did on food and clothing last year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent nearly $17,000 on taxes in 2017, compared to just $9,500 on food and clothing combined.

“As soon as you look at your paycheck you see the payroll tax withholding, the income tax the federal withheld, but there's also a lot of other things like property taxes, sales taxes, license taxes as the DMV or perhaps a fee to get your license plate renewed,” says John Buhl, spokesperson for the Tax Foundation.

And the BLS figure doesn't even include property tax burden.

“The combined tax burden for all Americans is actually more when you include housing,” he says. “It can vary from person to person, but for everyone taxes are a significant amount of their expenses in any given year.”

The Tax Foundation each year calculates how long Americans have to work to cover their tax burden.

“This past year, 2018, it was April 19 because of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which moved the day forward a little bit,” says Buhl. “I think we estimated about three days from what it would have been, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it takes a lot to move that needle.”

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