It depends on your definition of the term “average.”
Because of the United States’ progressive tax structure, it is difficult to determine who constitutes the “average” taxpayer. Because there are seven different tax rates ranging from 10% to 37%, the average tax rate is likely to be somewhere around 24.57%. There is a tax bracket that is set at 24 percent, which is really convenient. So this is the amount of taxes that the typical American pays, right?
To be honest, no. There are a variety of tax brackets to choose from depending on your income level. For instance, a single taxpayer who files their taxes and reports an income of $89,076 will only be subject to the higher tax rate of 24 percent on the one dollar of income that is above the threshold of $89,075 for the 22 percent bracket in 2022. This is how everything shakes out.
- The rates that will apply to your federal income tax brackets for the year 2022 vary from 10% all the way up to 37%.
- In recent years, the richest half of taxpayers have been responsible for 97.1 percent of all federal income taxes.
- According to an OECD projection, the tax wedge in the United States for the typical worker in a single-person household will drop by 1.2 percentage points, from 27.2 percent in 2020 to 28.4 percent in 2021.
How Different Tax Bands Affect Different Rates
At least for taxpayers filing on their own, the 24 percent tax bracket is only applicable to income between $89,075 and $170,150.These income thresholds change depending on a person’s filing status. The following is a breakdown of the tax brackets for individuals filing a single tax return for the year 2022:
A single taxpayer with an annual income of $35,000 is exempt from the 24 percent rate. They would enter the tax bracket at a rate of 12%, but only on income exceeding $10,275.The first $10,275 of income would only be subject to a 10% tax rate.
Because they are adjusted on a yearly basis in order to remain in line with rising prices, these income thresholds are somewhat higher than what they were in the tax year 2021. For the tax year 2022, for instance, the federal income tax brackets vary from 10 percent to 37 percent, which means that the range for single filers for the lowest marginal rate is from zero to $10,275, and the range for the highest rate is from $539,900 or more.
It Is Possible That “Median” Is the Preferred Term
It is possible that understanding the tax burden that is typical for American taxpayers will be less difficult. The value that is exactly in the center of a set of data is referred to as the median. Theoretically, half of all taxpayers would pay an amount that is lower than the median, while the other half would pay an amount that is higher than the median.
According to the Tax Foundation, the wealthiest half of taxpayers paid 97.1 percent of all federal income taxes in 2018, the most recent tax year for which comprehensive and independently verified figures are available. As a result, the poorest half of the population contributed only 2.9 percent.
The Tax Foundation calculates that the average tax rate for the highest 50 percent of taxpayers is 14.6 percent, while the average tax rate for the poorest 50 percent of taxpayers is merely 3.4 percent and the average tax rate for the entire population is 13.3 percent.
However, there is only one perspective on the equation to consider. There is also something that is referred to as the “tax wedge,” and the data that was provided by the Tax Foundation solely shows income taxes. In addition, a portion of each American worker’s salary goes to pay for Social Security and Medicare. In a strict sense, these things should also be thought about when figuring out what the average tax burden is.
The Wedge of Taxes
The tax wedge is the ratio of what the average worker pays in taxes to what they would have taken home in earnings if they weren’t required to pay those taxes. This number represents the percentage of earnings that are lost due to taxes. The amount that this worker would have earned if they had not been required to pay taxes is referred to as the “total labor expenses” for the employer in economic terms. This may also be seen as the amount that the company would have paid the worker in the absence of taxes.
Annual tax wedges are computed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which does so for the United States of America as well as dozens of other industrialized countries.
The tax wedges are calculated based on the taxable income and tax bands of single people. The higher the tax wedge, the less likely it is that some taxpayers will see any reason to keep working.
Finding the Tax Wedge Through Calculations
Calculations of the tax wedge take into account not only income taxes but also FICA taxes, which include Social Security, Medicare, and the Additional Medicare tax, if necessary. However, the largest burden that is placed on American taxpayers is that of the federal income tax.
When calculating the OECD tax wedge, both employers’ and employees’ contributions to Social Security and Medicare are taken into account. Even though an employee is exempt from having to pay their employer’s portion out of their own pocket, they still would have been entitled to receive that money even if their company had not contributed. The rate of the Social Security tax that will apply to wages paid in 2022 is fixed at 6.2 percent for both employers and workers, but the rate that applies to income earned through self-employment is 12.4 percent. Employers and workers each pay 1.45 percent of their income to Medicare, whereas people who are self-employed pay 2.9 percent of their income to the program.
The Wedge of Taxation in the United States
According to the OECD, the tax wedge for the average single worker in the United States is expected to decrease by 1.2 percentage points, from 27.2 percent in 2020 to 28.4 percent in 2021. Despite this reduction, the tax wedge in the United States will still be lower than the OECD average for all countries in the same year, which is 34.6 percent.In the meantime, the average take-home pay for a single worker in the United States was 77.4 percent of their gross compensation, which is higher than the average take-home pay across all OECD countries, which was 75.4 percent.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) states that pandemic-based legislation is likely to have contributed to the decline in the tax wedge.
Therefore, how much does this equal in dollars? If we assume that the typical worker earns $53,924 per year, then a tax wedge of 28.4 percent comes out to around $15,314; this indicates that the typical worker has contributed this much to the federal government.
The income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax are the only three taxes that are included in the OECD tax wedge. It does not include taxes on sales, property, or vehicles, nor does it cover taxes on state income.
Questions That Are Typically Asked (FAQs)
What is the typical rate of taxation in the United States?
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average tax rate in the United States in 2021 will be 22.6 percent.
How much does the typical person pay in federal, state, and local taxes?
According to the most recent information that has been made public, the average tax rate for a citizen of the United States is around 8.2 percent.
How much income tax do you have to pay on one million dollars?
As a result of the progressive nature of the tax system, an individual taxpayer who is childless and has no dependents and who has an annual income of $1 million would be subject to all tax brackets but would only be subject to a rate of 37 percent on the portion of their income that is in excess of $539,900. This amounts to a little more than $332,000 in taxes owed to the federal government.