Regressive Tax

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Regressive Tax'

A tax that takes a larger percentage from low-income people than from high-income people. A regressive tax is generally a tax that is applied uniformly. This means that it hits lower-income individuals harder.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Regressive Tax'

Some examples include gas tax and cigarette tax. For example, if a person has $10 of income and must pay $1 of tax on a package of cigarettes, this represents 10% of the person's income. However, if the person has $20 of income, this $1 tax only represents 5% of that person's income.

Sales taxes that apply to essentials are generally considered to be regressive as well because expenses for food, clothing and shelter tend to make up a higher percentage of a lower income consumer's overall budget. In this case, even though the tax may be uniform (such as 7% sales tax), lower income consumers are more affected by it because they are less able to afford it.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Cascade Tax

    A tax that is levied on a good at each stage of the production ...
  2. Ability-To-Pay Taxation

    Taxation in the form of a progressive tax. The ability-to-pay ...
  3. Flat Tax

    A system that applies the same tax rate to every taxpayer regardless ...
  4. Income Tax

    A tax that governments impose on financial income generated by ...
  5. Progressive Tax

    A tax that takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income ...
  6. Tax Bracket

    The rate at which an individual is taxed. Tax brackets are set ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Tax Tips For The Individual Investor

    We give you seven guidelines to help you keep more of your money in your pocket.
  2. Taxes

    Get A 6-Month Tax Extension

    Discover how to get some extra time from the IRS, without paying for the privilege.
  3. Taxes

    10 Money-Saving Year-End Tax Tips

    Getting organized well before the deadline will curb your frustration and your tax liability.
  4. Taxes

    Capital Gains Tax Cuts For Middle Income Investors

    Find out how TIPRA plans to slash taxes for those in the 10-15% tax bracket.
  5. Economics

    Are Greece’s Worries Almost Over?

    Last week ended with the news that Greece and the European Union (EU) finance ministers struck a deal to temporarily extend the Greek bailout program.
  6. Economics

    Why Is Ukraine At War? A Russian Rivalry With West

    Huge power games which are being played behind the Ukrainian conflict are rooted in a previous revolution, a past Cold War, and an old Russia-West rivalry.
  7. Economics

    Does A Junk Rating Reflect Russia's Fundamentals?

    Moody’s, like other credit rating agencies, has downgraded Russia’s sovereign debt rating to non-investment grade, but does this reflect Russia's economy?
  8. Taxes

    Getting U.S. Tax Deductions On Foreign Real Estate

    If your home or second home is not in the United States, you can still get U.S. tax deductions. How many and what kind depends on whether you also rent it.
  9. Economics

    This Is A Small Country With Huge Potential to Grow

    Trinidad and Tobago's increased revenue and economic success have been primarily generated by its energy sector, but it still might be best to diversify.
  10. Economics

    Popular Places Where U.S. Citizens Need A Visa

    A U.S. passport will get you into many countries, but not everywhere. Here's how to visit five of the most popular destinations that require visas.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fixed Cost

    A cost that does not change with an increase or decrease in the amount of goods or services produced. Fixed costs are expenses ...
  2. Subsidy

    A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy ...
  3. Sunk Cost

    A cost that has already been incurred and thus cannot be recovered. A sunk cost differs from other, future costs that a business ...
  4. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  5. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
  6. Gordon Growth Model

    A model for determining the intrinsic value of a stock, based on a future series of dividends that grow at a constant rate. ...
Trading Center