July 28, 2009

History of Taxes as % of GDP

Buried in the Budget of the US government documents there is information on our government receipts. One table includes receipts broken down by source as a % of GDP.

I pulled out the figures for individual income tax and corporate income tax and graphed them post WWII era from 1944 to 2007. The two graphs are shown below.

For individual income taxes the total receipts ranged from a minimum of 5.7% of GDP to a maximum of 10.3% of GDP. The receipts averaged 8.0% and the standard deviation was 0.83%. The median value was also 8.0%. In 2007 the amount was 8.5%, marginally above the historic average. The black trend line shows a gradual increase over time.

Corporate tax receipts as % of GDP ranged from 1.1% minimum to 7.2% maximum. The mean was 3.1% with a standard deviation of 1.45%. The median value was 2.7%. In 2007 the rate was 2.7% which is close to historical averages. The black trend line shows a fairly steep decreasing trend in the long term.

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