I. tax tax 1 [tæks] noun [countable, uncountable] TAX
an amount of money that you must pay to the government according to your income, property, goods etc, that is used to pay for public services:

• The President said he would cut taxes for middle-income America.

• a government plan to raise taxes in order to reduce the budget deficit

tax on

• a tax on sales of cigarettes

• Consumer spending declined 0.3% in October, and after-tax income rose 0.2%.

see also separate entry for income tax
word focus - tax
Tax is money that you have to pay to the government, especially from money you earn or as an additional payment when you buy something. Duty is a tax that you pay on something you buy, especially goods you have bought in another country. A tariff is a tax on goods coming into a country or going out of a country. Excise is a government tax that is charged on certain goods that are sold in the country, for example alcoholic drinks and petrol. In the UK, taxes are collected by the government department HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), informally known as the taxman, and by the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS) in the US. Public finance is the management of money collected through taxes by a local or national government. Fiscal describes things connected with government taxes, debts, and spending :

• fiscal deficit.

A taxpayer is a person or organization that pays taxes. The tax rate is the part of your income or the part of the price of something that you pay in tax:

• People who earn $180,000 to $280,000 will see their tax rates drop to 31% from 33% this year.

If you pay too much tax, you may get a tax rebate (= an amount of money that is paid back to you ) . When someone uses illegal ways to pay less tax, this crime is called tax evasion, but the use of legal methods to reduce a tax bill is called tax avoidance.
ad vaˈlorem ˌtax
[countable, uncountable] TAX a tax that changes, depending on the value of the goods it is added to, rather than being a fixed amount
ˌcapital ˈgains tax written abbreviation CGT [uncountable] TAX
in Britain, a tax that ordinary people, not companies, pay when they make a large amount of money by selling an asset such as property. In the US, capital gains tax is also paid by companies:

• UK pension funds are exempt from both capital gains tax and income tax on their investments.

ˈcapital tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on capital, rather than on spending. capital gains tax, for example, is a type of capital tax
conˈsumption tax [countable, uncountable] TAX ECONOMICS
a tax that a government puts on certain types of goods in order to make people buy fewer of them, for example during a war or difficult economic conditions; = EXPENDITURE TAX:

• Despite the introduction of a consumption tax as part of the austerity package, sales of cars are still rising.

corpoˈration tax [uncountable] TAX
in Britain, a tax on the profits of companies, both on profits paid as dividend S (= payments to shareholders) and reserves (= profits from a particular period of time not paid to shareholders in that period)
ˈcouncil tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
in Britain, a tax paid to your local government authority that depends on the value of the house or apartment that you live in
ˈdeath tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
another name for estate tax
deˈferred tax [uncountable] TAX
tax relating to a particular year that the authorities allow to be paid in a later year:

• The company said it will eliminate a deferred-tax asset on its books, because of adoption of new accounting standards.

deˈgressive tax [countable] TAX
a tax where people with low incomes pay a smaller percentage of what they earn than those with high incomes
diˈrect tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on what you earn, for example income tax, rather than one paid on goods that you buy:

• Income tax is by far the most important direct tax, contributing almost 26% of government receipts.

• To pay for the direct tax cuts, petrol tax and VAT will be increased.

disˈcriminatory tax [countable, uncountable] TAX ECONOMICS
1. a tax on particular producers intended to make it easier for other producers to compete:

• the US discriminatory tax on imported petroleum

2. a tax on a particular activity that some people think is unfair:

• A reduction in the capital gains tax would be but a small step in reducing the discriminatory tax burden on risk investment.

esˈtate tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
in the US, a tax on the value of someone's property that must be paid when they die; = DEATH TAX; ESTATE DUTY; INHERITANCE TAX
ˈexcise tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on certain goods produced and sold in a country, for example cigarettes and alcoholic drinks; = EXCISE DUTY:

• Despite a doubling of the federal excise tax on beer, the brewery reported record sales in the first quarter.

exˈpenditure tax [countable, uncountable] TAX ECONOMICS
another name for consumption tax
ˌfederal ˈtax [countable, uncountable] TAX
in the US, tax paid to the Internal Revenue Service or to the Bureau of Customs rather than to local tax authorities. income tax, estate tax, and excise tax are all federal taxes:

• At the President's order, big employers are taking less money out of their workers' paychecks for federal taxes.

ˈflat tax [countable] TAX
a tax at one fixed rate for all levels and types of income, with no tax:

• The administration rejected a flat tax because it shifted too much of the tax burden from the rich to the poor.

ˈgift tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
in the US, a tax that you must pay when you give money or property above a certain value to someone:

• Federal law permits an individual to give $10,000 a year to any one person free of gift tax.

ˌgoods and ˈservices tax abbreviation GST [countable, uncountable] TAX
a type of value-added tax charged on goods and services in some countries
ˈgraduated tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
income tax that rises in stages according to a taxpayer's income. For example it may be 20% for the first £4,100 of income, 23% for the next £22,000, and 40% for the rest
ˈhead tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax paid by every person in a country at the same rate, whatever their income; = POLL TAX
hyˈpothecated tax [countable, uncountable] TAX ECONOMICS
a tax where the money obtained, or part of the money obtained, is used for a particular purpose, rather than spent on a number of things:

• The Party's proposal in the last election for a 1p increase on income tax for education was popular. A similar hypothecated tax for health could be even more attractive.

ˈindirect tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on goods or services that are bought, rather than on the income that people and companies earn. value-added tax and excise are indirect taxes
inˈheritance tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
another name for estate tax:

• Works of art that are able to be viewed by the public are not subject to inheritance tax.

ˈinput tax [uncountable] TAX
tax added to a buyer's bill when buying particular goods or services. At regular periods of time the buyer adds up the input tax from all their bills and takes the total away from the tax they have charged buyers of their products or services to arrive at a final value-added tax figure which they must pay to the government:

• Registered VAT payers have to present a three-monthly return on which all output tax and input tax is declared for the period and the net tax paid.

ˌlocal ˈtax [countable, uncountable] TAX
tax that is paid to a local government authority, rather than to central government, that helps pay for public services such as education, health, waste collection etc
ˈluxury tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
tax on special goods that people do not really need but that are pleasant and enjoyable:

• a 10% luxury tax on yachts and private planes

ˌmultiple ˈsales tax [countable] TAX
a tax on the price of goods sold in shops, and also on the prices charged by the producers of those goods and the company that sells the goods to the shops; = TRANSACTION TAX; TURNOVER TAX
ˈoutput tax [uncountable] TAX
tax that a seller adds to a buyer's bill when they sell particular goods or services. At regular periods of time, the total tax they have paid when buying goods and services themselves is taken away from the total output taxes they have paid to arrive at a value-added tax figure that they must pay to the government
ˈpayroll tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
tax taken from someone's wages, for example income tax and national insurance or Social Security tax
ˈpoll tax [countable] TAX
a tax of a particular fixed amount that every person in a country or state has to pay:

• The state poll tax was abolished in 1966.

proˈgressive tax [countable] TAX
a tax that is charged at an increasing rate as income increases:

• An increasingly progressive tax will generally allow a state's tax revenue to grow.

ˈproperty tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on the value of property such as land and buildings and in some countries also on property such as jewellery, furniture, and investments
proˈportional tax [countable] TAX
a tax that is charged at a rate that does not change as the amount of income, for example, increases
ˈpurchase tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax that is added to the price of goods sold in shops, but not on basic goods that people need to buy, that the owner of the shop must pay to the government
ˈreal estate ˌtax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on property such as land and buildings
redisˈtributive tax [countable] TAX
a tax that is intended to spread incomes more fairly among people, by taxing rich people more and poor people less
reˈgressive tax [countable] TAX
a tax where people with low incomes pay a larger percentage of what they earn than those with high incomes:

• a regressive tax on the savings and retirement income of millions of Americans

ˈroad tax [uncountable] TAX
in Britain, a tax that every car owner must pay
ˈsales tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on a wide range of goods or services. Many states in the US charge their own sales tax:

• New York State imposes a 4% sales tax on most consumer goods.

ˈsin tax [countable] TAX
a tax on goods such as alcohol or cigarettes which the government wants to discourage people from consuming; =repressive tax:

• Voters in the county approved a higher sin tax on liquor and cigarettes to finance a new $344 million downtown sports complex.

ˌSocial Seˈcurity tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
in the US, a tax paid by employees and employers to provide money for unemployed people and pension S for people who are too old to work. A similar tax in Britain is called national insurance:

• Farm workers don't pay Social Security tax on non-cash wages such as lodging and farm products.

speˈcific tax [countable] TAX
a tax whose rate is based on a particular quantity of a product, rather than on its value
ˈstamp tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on certain financial transaction S, for example sales of shares; = STAMP DUTY:

• An effort was made to persuade the Swiss government to repeal (= remove ) its stamp tax on securities transactions.

ˈstate tax [countable] TAX
in the US, a tax paid to the government of a state, rather than to central government:

• During the next year, he will pay federal (= government ) and state taxes of about $600,000.

tranˈsaction tax [countable] TAX
another name for a multiple sales tax
ˈturnover tax [countable] TAX
another name for a multiple sales tax
ˈunitary tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
in the US, a state tax calculated on a company's profits all over the world, not just on activities in that state:

• California's unitary tax system bases a company's tax on worldwide earnings.

ˌvalue-ˈadded tax abbreviation VAT [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on some goods and services. Businesses pay value-added tax on most goods and services they buy and if they are VAT, charge value-added tax on the goods and services they sell. At regular periods of time, the total amount of tax paid is taken away from the total amount charged to arrive at an amount that is owed to or by the business. Final customers pay VAT on these goods in shops and on services. VAT is a way of charging tax on the increase in value of goods and services at each stage as they are produced, rather than just on their final selling price to customers:

• The government announced a temporary increase in value-added tax on consumer goods.

ˈwealth tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
a tax on the value of a person's assets if their value is above a particular amount
ˈwindfall tax [countable] TAX
a tax that must be paid by a company that has suddenly and unexpectedly earned a large amount of money, especially a large company that has recently been privatized (= sold by the government)
withˈholding tax [countable, uncountable] TAX
1. the amount of interest or dividend (= regular income from shares) that a financial institution must take from someone's investments and give to the government as income tax
2. in the US, the amount of an employee's income that their employer must keep to give to the government as income tax — see also earnings before interest and tax, supertax, surtax
  [m0] II. tax tax 2 verb [transitive] TAX
1. to make a person or organization pay tax:

• Traditionally, state authorities have taxed the rich far more lightly than the federal government.

tax get/​be taxed on

• Shareholders get taxed on the dividends they receive.

2. tax a car/​motorcycle to pay the sum of money charged each year for using a vehicle on British roads

* * *

tax UK US /tæks/ noun [C or U] (plural taxes) TAX, FINANCE
an amount paid to the government based on a person's income, a company’s profits, the value of goods and services, etc, or this money considered together: »

Offshore trading companies are liable to pay tax at a rate of 5%.

avoid/evade/escape tax »

Huge companies have the money to pay lawyers who advise them on ways to avoid tax.

a tax on sth »

The law states that foreign businesses must pay taxes on business conducted in the US.

increase/put up/raise taxes »

Many of the opposition's proposals will be very difficult to achieve without raising taxes.

introduce/impose/levy a tax (on sth) »

The city has levied a tax of €1,000 on any SUVs registered to city-center addresses.


abolish/cut/reduce a tax


lift/remove a tax

tax cuts/increases/rises »

The government must tighten its budget next year to offset poorly timed tax cuts.


If you do not make the tax payment by February 28, an additional 5% surcharge is imposed.

after/before tax »

The bank's bad debt provision forced profits before tax down to €152.7m.

exclusive/inclusive of tax(es) »

The hotel failed to provide room rates inclusive of taxes.

high/low tax(es) »

The area has very low property taxes.


basic-rate/higher-rate tax


a tax accountant/adviser/consultant


a tax authority/agency/office

See also AD VALOREM(Cf. ↑ad valorem), AFTER-TAX(Cf. ↑after-tax), BACK TAX(Cf. ↑back tax), CAPITAL GAINS TAX(Cf. ↑capital gains tax), CAPITAL TAX(Cf. ↑capital tax), CONSUMPTION TAX(Cf. ↑consumption tax), CORPORATION TAX(Cf. ↑corporation tax), COUNCIL TAX(Cf. ↑council tax), DEATH TAX(Cf. ↑death tax), DEFERRED TAX(Cf. ↑deferred tax), DEGRESSIVE TAX(Cf. ↑degressive tax), DIRECT TAX(Cf. ↑direct tax), DISCRIMINATORY TAX(Cf. ↑discriminatory tax), EBIT(Cf. ↑EBIT), ESTATE TAX(Cf. ↑estate tax), EXCISE TAX(Cf. ↑excise tax), EXPENDITURE TAX(Cf. ↑expenditure tax), FEDERAL TAX(Cf. ↑federal tax), FLAT TAX(Cf. ↑flat tax), GIFT TAX(Cf. ↑gift tax), GOODS AND SERVICES TAX(Cf. ↑goods and services tax), GRADUATED TAX(Cf. ↑graduated tax), HEAD TAX(Cf. ↑head tax), HYPOTHECATED TAXES(Cf. ↑hypothecated taxes), INCOME TAX(Cf. ↑income tax), INDIRECT TAX(Cf. ↑indirect tax), INHERITANCE TAX(Cf. ↑inheritance tax), INPUT TAX(Cf. ↑input tax), LOCAL TAX(Cf. ↑local tax), LUXURY TAX(Cf. ↑luxury tax), OUTPUT TAX(Cf. ↑output tax), PAYROLL TAX(Cf. ↑payroll tax), PERSONAL INCOME TAX(Cf. ↑personal income tax), PRE-TAX(Cf. ↑pre-tax), PROGRESSIVE TAX(Cf. ↑progressive tax), PROPERTY TAX(Cf. ↑property tax), PROPORTIONAL TAX(Cf. ↑proportional tax), PURCHASE TAX(Cf. ↑purchase tax), REAL ESTATE TAX(Cf. ↑real estate tax), REGRESSIVE TAX(Cf. ↑regressive tax), ROAD TAX(Cf. ↑road tax), SALES TAX(Cf. ↑sales tax), SIN TAX(Cf. ↑sin tax), SOCIAL SECURITY TAX(Cf. ↑social security tax), SPECIFIC TAX(Cf. ↑specific tax), STATE TAX(Cf. ↑state tax), STEALTH TAX(Cf. ↑stealth tax), SUPERTAX(Cf. ↑supertax), SURTAX(Cf. ↑surtax), TRANSACTION TAX(Cf. ↑transaction tax), TURNOVER TAX(Cf. ↑turnover tax), UNITARY TAX(Cf. ↑unitary tax), VALUE-ADDED TAX(Cf. ↑value-added tax), WEALTH TAX(Cf. ↑wealth tax), WINDFALL TAX(Cf. ↑windfall tax), WITHHOLDING TAX(Cf. ↑withholding tax)
tax UK US /tæks/ verb [T] TAX, FINANCE
to make people or businesses pay an amount of money to the government from the money they earn, or when they buy goods or services: »

The state does not tax food or clothing.

tax sth as sth »

The profits from these investments are taxed as ordinary income.

tax sth at (a rate of) sth »

Earnings above the current threshold are taxed at 50%.

tax sb on sth »

Homeowners who sell land for development are taxed on the profit.

tax sb/sth heavily/lightly »

The government may tax housing more heavily.


Non-electrical machines are lightly taxed.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • tax — tax·abil·i·ty; tax·a·ce·ae; tax·ad; tax·am·e·ter; tax·as·pid·e·an; tax·a·tion; tax·a·tion·al; tax·a·tor; tax; tax·eme; tax·e·op·o·da; tax·e·op·o·dous; tax·er; …   English syllables

  • Tax — Tax, n. [F. taxe, fr. taxer to tax, L. taxare to touch, sharply, to feel, handle, to censure, value, estimate, fr. tangere, tactum, to touch. See {Tangent}, and cf. {Task}, {Taste}.] 1. A charge, especially a pecuniary burden which is imposed by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tax — (t[a^]ks), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Taxed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Taxing}.] [Cf. F. taxer. See {Tax}, n.] 1. To subject to the payment of a tax or taxes; to impose a tax upon; to lay a burden upon; especially, to exact money from for the support of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tax´er — tax «taks», noun, verb. –n. 1. money paid by people for the support of the government and the cost of public works and services; money or sometimes goods collected from citizens by their rulers; assessment; levy: »Our parents pay taxes to the… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • tax — [n1] charge levied by government on property, income assessment, bite*, brokerage, capitation, contribution, cost, custom, dues, duty, excise, expense, fine, giveaway*, imposition, impost, levy, obligation, pork barrel*, price, rate, salvage,… …   New thesaurus

  • tax — [taks] vt. [ME taxen < MFr taxer, to tax < L taxare, to appraise, tax, censure < base of tangere, to touch (see TACT): used interchangeably with tasken (see TASK) in ME] 1. Obs. to determine the value of; assess 2. a) to require to pay a …   English World dictionary

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