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Why Do You Have to Pay Taxes – Finally Explained

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Tax laws are enacted by state, municipal and federal governments. Every year when April 15 rolls around, it is common to hear adults in the USA complaining because it is when the taxes are filed.

There are many different types of taxes people pay for including value-added tax, property tax, income tax

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American citizens who earn a gross income of over $10,000 (or $25,000 for married couples filing jointly) or who earned more than $400 from self-employment are expected by law to file a federal income tax return.

The practice of paying taxes has been going on for years. It is necessary for any civilization to survive. The first person to introduce tax paying in the USA was Abraham Lincoln, despite it being repealed at the time. 

Then the 16th Amendment was passed in 1909, allowing the federal government to tax individual personal income regardless of the state population.

There are some groups, however, that are exempt from paying tax and making returns annually. These include foreigners, non-profit organizations, low-income taxpayers and taxpayers with many deductions.

Taxes in a country are important for the following reasons:

Pay Government Workers

It is through the taxes collected that the different civil servants and government workers get paid.

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Government workers include public healthcare providers and nurses, public school teachers, the president, members of Congress among many more. Government workers are important for the proper functioning of any civilization.

Provide Public Services

The government depends on tax so that they can fund the provision of public services.

These include building public schools and hospitals whose costs to the public are subsidized so that everyone enjoys their services.

Support Common Resources

Some of the essential common resources that citizens need are firefighters and the police. The military is also funded by taxpayers’ money as the army is a necessary need in society.

Without which, a state would crumble. By funding military and security forces, taxes keep Americans safe. They also pay for jails and the wardens.

So on top of their salaries, the equipment they need to render their services are paid through taxes. Its what people pay for a society that takes an active role in educating and protecting its citizens.

Fund Government Projects

The federal and state governments conduct many projects intended to improve the livelihood of its citizens and further development. Through taxes, citizens from a particular state or community are able to fund the projects that will most benefit them and are in dire need of.

Public Infrastructure

file taxes

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Taxes in a country or state help fund infrastructure projects. Through budget allocation, some of the money collected is used in building and maintaining roads, sewerage systems, and bridges.


Without taxes, there would be no one to pay for the regulation of public resources and amenities. Therefore, through taxes, our water and the air we breathe is kept clean.

Not forgetting the products and services we use are regulated and kept safe for human consumption.

Social Welfare

Taxes collected are partly used to help the needy and less fortunate in society. They are able to live comfortably. They play a crucial role in the progress of humanity. 

Social security and social welfare are some of the greatest benefits the homeless, less privileged and those in need enjoy without having to pay back. 

Taxes are therefore the price we pay for living in a society that looks after the elderly and less fortunate.

Redistribution Of Wealth

The collection of taxes serves as a wealth redistribution method from the rich to the poor. It redistributes wealth to the individuals who receive government assistance from taxpayers.

Therefore, the wealthier individuals actually pay more tax within their tax bracket. It is used to reduce inequality in a society and creates access to the less fortunate.

Governments also use the money collected to fund social programs designed to overcome poverty.

The richest taxpayers help pay for programs that support middle-class and lower-income and citizens, not forgetting to contribute to the basic services that all taxpayers have equal access to.

Pay Foreign Debt

Taxes are used to pay back foreign debts that governments procured at one point or the other.


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