In the United States, taxation is a complicated system that can involve payment to four different levels of the government, at least. It also has several methods of taxation. United States taxation includes the local government, and sometimes includes one or a few more of county, district, township and municipal governments. It also includes other regional institutions such as utility and school, transit districts and the state and federal governments.
Federal tax code
The tax laws in the United States are set forth by the Internal Revenue Service, also called the IRS, which is a bureau of the Treasury. The U.S. tax code is also given the name Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (title 26 of the United States Code). The Code's complexity is normally due to two things. One is the fact that tax code is used for purposes besides raising the revenue and another is because of the feedback that is received from changing the code.
The main purpose of IRS tax laws is to provide the federal government with revenue, but the tax code is also used for issues of public policy in order to reach economic, political and social goals. For instance, the tax law gives people a deduction for mortgage interest they pay on debts that are secured by their primary residencies. This encourages people to own their own homes.
Federal income tax
The marginal tax rate on income can differ based on individual income, but it generally ranges from zero to 35%. The income tax is also a progressive tax because its rate is higher as a percentage of the income made by higher-income individuals.
A unique aspect of federal taxation in the United States is that all citizens of the United States, even those who are not living there, have to pay U.S. income tax based on their worldwide income. Most other countries in the world do not levy taxes on their citizens unless they are living within their borders.
The U.S. government uses tax credits and tax deductions to reward certain behavior. For instance, if you pay mortgage interest on your home, the amounts used to pay it off are deductible if you choose to itemize. If you do not take part in a pension plan that is sponsored by your employer, then you can give up to $4000 into a retirement account, and you can deduct those contributions from your income if they are within specified income limits.