- Days left

10 Federal Taxes You Might Not Realize You're Paying

×
Mature gun shop merchant looking at rifle in store
Brand X/Getty Images
The time of year when many taxpayers log into their tax software program, or receive a call from their tax accountant, and receive a happy surprise: They're getting a tax refund.

Unfortunately, not all surprises are so pleasant. For instance, in March, the independent Tax Foundation published the 2014 edition of its annual Facts & Figures: How Does Your State Compare? tax information booklet. Alongside expected topics, such as rankings of the 50 states by tax burden and taxes paid per capita, was an "Easter egg" surprise of a list of federal excise taxes that you may not be aware you're paying.



Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks directly affected by any of the above excise taxes. At least, he doesn't think he does. But then again, up until a few weeks ago he didn't even realize that most of these taxes existed.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Intro to different retirement accounts

What does it mean to have a 401(k)? IRA?

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Tax Tips for the Blind

Anyone whose field of vision falls at or below 20 degrees, who wears corrective glasses but whose vision is 20/200 or less in his best eye, or who has no eyesight at all, meets the legal definition of being blind and is eligible for certain tax deductions.

What is Form 4255: Recapture of Investment Credit?

When is a tax credit not a tax credit? When the IRS takes it back. If you're in the situation where you have to file IRS Form 4255, you might have to pay back a tax credit you've earned in prior years. This process, known as recapture, occurs if you claim a credit -- in this case, a credit for a specific type of business investment -- and then no longer qualify for that credit.

The Most Important Tax Forms for ALEs (Applicable Large Employers)

In 2015, some parts of the Affordable Care Act specifically apply to businesses, in particular, large employers. The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions affect companies with 50 or more full-time employees or an equivalent of part-time or seasonal workers. These companies are called Applicable Large Employers, or ALEs. 2015 is considered a transition year as everyone gets used to the new normal for workplace health plans.

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

6 Comments

Filter by:
toosmart4u

Good article drbobdez, People voting against their own interests. That is why republicans are spending so much money each election to aid their own interest. They started by "vote for the man, not the party". Then "Thd democrats will take your guns away". Now they are in the churches preaching releving women of their rights. TV ads, radio ads, not to mention FAUX news. People have to learn to think for themselves.

April 04 2014 at 6:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I was charged a federal excess water tax for flushing the toilet

April 03 2014 at 2:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
drbobdez

And yet, about $34 TRILLION of market trades take place every year with nary a tax in sight. Hedge fund managers pay 15% on their income (carried interest). About one-third of America's 20 largest grossing companies so not make anything. GE, Caterpillar, Apple, etc. offshore their profits and negotiate safe haven deals with foreign governments to reduce their tax liabilities. Forty-seven percent of Americans voted for a presidential candidate who kept his money offshore to take advantage of tax loopholes. A Washington state congressman lobbied a tax exclusion for arrow shafts that meet certain criteria — the only manufacturer to which it applied was in his district. Well-paying U.S. jobs have been exported at an increasing rate since 1980. We waged a couple multi trillion dollar wars and got about a $300 check from the IRS to vote for those who got us into it. We have more millionaire, professional politicians in congress than ever before. Twenty-nine of the 50 wealthiest are avowed ultra conservatives — median net worth of congress rose $966,000 over last year. Since 1975 the working poor (bottom 40%) saw their share of annual income slide 24.5%, the middle class (next 40%) got 11.5% less: the top 20% saw their share increase by18%. After decades of enriching themselves by "insider trading" the STOCK act was passed in 2012 to prohibit public officials from doing so. A year later, the act was modified to only apply to those who were elected (family members, staffers, aides, etc. can still use information generally available only to congressional members with impunity). Credit swaps were not regulated because "congress has better things to do". In 1998 the credit swap market was about $300 billion: 2003 it was over $2.7 trillion and doubling every year. Within a few years it, along with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, it helped collapse the financial system. By 2007, the median S&P CEO was earning 300 times what an average worker was earning — in three hours they earned what a minimum wage worker earned in a year. The government is greedy? Nope! Partisan politics has convinced too many people that all we need is a smaller social safety net, lower taxes on the wealthy, less regulation on corporations, voter disenfranchisement, limiting what a woman can do with her body, oil company subsidies, no unions or minimum wages, and unlimited, anonymous political spending by those who have accumulated most of the national wealth is all that is needed to put this nation back on solid ground. Corporate patriotism and a congress that is dedicated to the security and welfare of its constituency has not been part of the discussion. The same people who have stolen your opportunities have convinced you to pursue more of the same. By vilifying single issues, most of the vilification having little merit, voter attention has shifted from seeing the big picture and all-too-many are disposed to vote against their own best interests.

April 03 2014 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to drbobdez's comment
drbobdez

The "thumbs down" vote above pretty much sums up the argument. "You have attacked my ideology with facts and I'll have none of it."

April 03 2014 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I think that some people actually see what is and has happened. No doubt it was mostly greed. If I had that kind of money I would hire a cook and maid immediately and go get a massage. We actually have no choice but to buy cheap Chinese goods. However, others love Obama and his promise of a chicken in every pot.

April 03 2014 at 2:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jrb359

NO corporation is as greedy as the US government. If they could, they would tax peoples gold fillings.

April 03 2014 at 10:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jrb359's comment
progressivehoax

They most likely do.

April 03 2014 at 10:02 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
potmind

But they do tax gold fillings. How? At the mining site, at the refining level, at the packing, shipping and retail levels, at the manufacturing level and the dentist level, as well... And I miss a gaggle of hidden taxes.

April 03 2014 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply