Income tax refers to annual taxes levied by the federal government and most state governments on individual and business income. By law, businesses and individuals must file federal and state income tax returns every year to determine whether they owe taxes. Governments use the taxes they collect to fund their activities.
How It Works
Income tax is applied to both earned income (wages, salaries and commission) and unearned income (dividends, interest and rents).
Why It Matters
Income taxes reduce the amount of earnings that individuals and businesses are allowed to keep. There are a couple of strategies investors can use to retain more of their income. The first is investing in tax-advantaged assets like U.S. government bonds and municipal bonds.