To tax (from the Latin taxo; "I estimate") is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many administrative divisions. Taxes consist of direct tax or indirect tax, and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent (often but not always unpaid labour).
A tax is a "pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property owners to support the government a payment exacted by legislative authority." A tax "is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority" and is "any contribution imposed by government whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name."
Famous quotes containing the word tax:
“Change of fashion is the tax levied by the industry of the poor on the vanity of the rich.”
—Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (17411794)
“Parents are used to being made to feel guilty about...their contribution to the population problem, the school tax burden, and declining test scores. They expect to be blamed by teachers and psychologists, if not by police. And they will be blamed by the children themselves. It is hardy a wonder, then, that they withdraw into what used to be called permissiveness but is really neglect.”
—C. John Sommerville (20th century)
“What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)