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Financing & Taxes

Primary taxation issues facing the governments world over include; • Taxes on income and wealth (or estates).
• Taxation of capital gains versus labor income.
• Ecotax (short for Ecological taxation) refers to taxes intended to promote environmentally friendly activities via economic incentives.
• Tax evasion and avoidance leading to reduced government revenue.
• Due to an Inefficient tax system in many underdeveloped countries, the majority of small businesses are not taxed

The United States of America has separate federal, state, and local government(s) with taxes imposed at each of these levels. Taxes are levied on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010, taxes collected by federal, state, and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. In the OECD, only Chile and Mexico are taxed less as a share of their GDP. However, taxes fall much more heavily on labor income than on capital income. Divergent taxes and subsidies for different forms of income and spending can also constitute a form of indirect taxation of some activities over others. For example, individual spending on higher education can be said to be "taxed" at a high rate, compared to other forms of personal expenditure which are formally recognized as investments. Taxes are imposed on net income of individuals and corporations by the federal, most state, and some local governments. Citizens and residents are taxed on worldwide income and allowed a credit for foreign taxes. Income subject to tax is determined under tax accounting rules, not financial accounting principles, and includes almost all income from whatever source. Most business expenses reduce taxable income, though limits apply to a few expenses. Individuals are permitted to reduce taxable income by personal allowances and certain non-business expenses, including home mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions, and medical and certain other expenses incurred above certain percentages of income. State rules for determining taxable income often differ from federal rules. Federal tax rates vary from 10% to 39.6% of taxable income. State and local tax rates vary widely by jurisdiction, from 0% to 13.30% of income,[4] and many are graduated. State taxes are generally treated as a deductible expense for federal tax computation. In 2013, the top marginal income tax rate for a high-income California resident would be 52.9%.

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