If you think taxes are higher than their historical rates, well, it depends on how far back in history you’re comparing them to. Take a look at the accompanying chart, which shows tax revenue as a percent of total national income for four countries—France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.—since 1868. The chart ends in 2008, and is taken from research by tax policy analyst Thomas Piketty.
Chances are, you know how much you pay in taxes. But how much are taxes costing you in time and preparation fees?
According to a Tax Foundation report, using statistics from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tax compliance will cost the U.S. economy $409 billion this year. In all, Americans will spend 8.9 billion hours—more than 222 million work weeks—complying with IRS tax filing requirements for 2016.
By all accounts, Puerto Rico is a beautiful, sunny place to visit, especially in the Winter. But it’s hard to fathom how this U.S. island territory of 3.5 million people could have racked up $70 billion in public debt—roughly $20,000 per citizen, which happens to be almost exactly the population’s average yearly income. Now that Puerto Rican bonds are trading at 20-50 cents on the dollar, a lot of people are starting to wonder what happened.