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Current U.S. Federal Government Tax Revenue

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Federal Government Revenue

Most of the Federal government revenue comes from income taxes.

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The U.S. Government's total revenue is estimated to be $3.337 trillion for Fiscal Year 2015. If this estimate is correct, that will be the highest ever received by the U.S. government. It's more than was collected in the first 180 years of our country's history. It's also more than the entire economic output of Germany -- or any other country in the world except China, India and Japan. However, it's less than 20% of the U.S. economic output. Unfortunately, that means it's also less than 20% of the U.S. debt. (Sources:OMB, FY 2015 Budget, Table 1;  CIA World Factbook)

Sources of Government Revenue:

The individual taxpayer -- you -- provides most of the income for the Federal Government’s budget. That's because income taxes contribute 46%, or $1.534 trillion, toward total FY 2015 revenue receipts. Social Security, Medicare and other payroll taxes (still mostly you) add 32%, or $1.056 trillion. Corporate taxes toss in $449 billion, or 13% toward the total. Excise taxes and customs tariffs contribute $148 billion, or 4%.

The Federal Reserve, as the bank for Federal government agencies, pays interest on the billions of dollars in operating funds deposited by various Federal agencies. This totals $88 billion, or 3%. The rest ($63 billion) comes from estate taxes and other miscellaneous receipts. (Source: OMB, FY 2015 Budget, Table S-5)

All the Tax Burden Really Falls on You:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) points out that, in effect, the entire U.S. tax burden really falls on individuals. That's because corporations pass on their tax burden to families in the form of higher prices or lower wages. Corporations must maintain their profit margin to satisfy stockholders, so any additional corporate taxes will be passed on to consumers or workers. Bottom line -- everything the government spends ultimately comes out of your pocket, no matter what happens with the corporate tax rate.

The Budget's Relation to Economic Growth:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates revenues at 18.3% of GDP for FY 2015. Now that the recession is 5 years behind us, this is much closer to the normal 19% target. Revenues would be much higher without the extension of the Bush tax cuts and the Obama tax cuts.

Income taxes were lowered to spur the consumer spending that drives 70% of economic growth. Most people didn't even realize this happened, since the tax cut showed up as reduced withholding instead of a check. Instead of spending the cuts, people used some of it to pay off debt. The recession scared people into saving more and using credit cards less.

U.S. Tax Revenue by Year:

Here's a record of income for each fiscal year since 1960. There are links to more details about the revenue back to the FY 2006 budget. Tax receipts fell off during the recession, but are now rising because the economy is improving. 

  • FY 2014 - $3.002 trillion (estimate).
  • FY 2013 - $2.775 trillion.
  • FY 2012 - $2.45 trillion.
  • FY 2011 - $2.3 trillion.
  • FY 2010 - $2.16 trillion.
  • FY 2009 - $2.1 trillion.
  • FY 2008 - $2.52 trillion.
  • FY 2007 - $2.57 trillion.
  • FY 2006 - $2.4 trillion.
  • FY 2005 - $2.15 trillion.
  • FY 2004 - $1.88 trillion.
  • FY 2003 - $1.72 trillion.
  • FY 2002 - $1.85 trillion.
  • FY 2001 - $1.99 trilion.
  • FY 2000 - $2.03 trillion.
  • FY 1999 - $1.82 trillion.
  • FY 1998 - $1.72 trillion.
  • FY 1997 - $1.58 trillion.
  • FY 1996 - $1.45 trillion.
  • FY 1995 - $1.35 trillion.
  • FY 1994 - $1.26 trillion.
  • FY 1993 - $1.15 trillion.
  • FY 1992 - $1.09 trillion.
  • FY 1991 - $1.05 trillion.
  • FY 1990 - $1.03 trillion.
  • FY 1989 - $991 billion.
  • FY 1988 - $909 billion.
  • FY 1987 - $854 billion.
  • FY 1986 - $769 billion.
  • FY 1985 - $734 billion.
  • FY 1984 - $666 billion.
  • FY 1983 - $601 billion.
  • FY 1982 - $618 billion.
  • FY 1981 - $599 billion.
  • FY 1980 - $517 billion.
  • FY 1979 - $463 billion.
  • FY 1978 - $399 billion.
  • FY 1977 - $356 billion.
  • FY 1976 - $298 billion.
  • FY 1975 - $279 billion.
  • FY 1974 - $263 billion.
  • FY 1973 - $231 billion.
  • FY 1972 - $207 billion.
  • FY 1971 - $187 billion.
  • FY 1970 - $193 billion.
  • FY 1969 - $187 billion.
  • FY 1968 - $153 billion.
  • FY 1967 - $149 billion.
  • FY 1966 - $131 billion.
  • FY 1965 - $117 billion.
  • FY 1964 - $113 billion.
  • FY 1963 - $107 billion.
  • FY 1962 - $100 billion.
  • FY 1961 - $94 billion.
  • FY 1960 - $93 billion.
  • FY 1789-FY 1959 - $1.1 trillion.

(Source: OMB, Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2018) Article updated March 4, 2014

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