Flat Tax

DEFINITION of 'Flat Tax'

A system that applies the same tax rate to every taxpayer regardless of income bracket. A flat tax applies the same tax rate to all taxpayers, with no deductions or exemptions allowed. Supporters of a flat tax system propose that it would give taxpayers incentive to earn more because they would not be penalized with a higher tax bracket. In addition, supporters argue that a flat tax system is fairer because it imposed the tax on all taxpayers regardless of income.

BREAKING DOWN 'Flat Tax'

In the United States, a progressive-rate tax system is used. In 2010, for example, people who earned up to $8,375 fell into the 10% tax bracket; people who earned greater than $373,650 fell into the 35% tax bracket.


In a progressive tax system, individuals who make more money are taxed at a higher rate. Many of the countries that have imposed a flat tax rate system on individuals and businesses, including Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, have experienced economic growth since adopting flat tax rate policies.

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