DEFINITION of 'Stealth Taxes'

A type of levy that governments use to increase their revenues without raising the ire of taxpayers. Compared to income taxes and property taxes, stealth taxes are smaller and less visible, so they are less likely to attract attention or spark protest. Examples of stealth taxes include sales taxes, value added taxes, tobacco taxes, liquor taxes, air travel taxes and gasoline taxes.

BREAKING DOWN 'Stealth Taxes'

Stealth taxes are sometimes built into the prices of products so that consumers don't see how much tax they are paying. Stealth taxes are often easier for governments to collect than other types of taxes and they are collected at the point of sale and are not dependent on the taxpayer's income. In addition to the implementation of new taxes or the raising of existing taxes, stealth taxes can come in the form of the removal of existing tax breaks.



RELATED TERMS
  1. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
  2. Direct Tax

    A tax that is paid directly by an individual or organization ...
  3. Tax Base

    The assessed value of a set of assets, investments or income ...
  4. Income Tax

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

    A tax break is a savings on a taxpayer's liability. A tax break ...
  6. Federal Income Tax

    A tax levied by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    The History Of Taxes In The U.S.

    The number of taxes that we now consider a given did not always exist. Find out how they arose.
  2. Taxes

    How Tax Cuts Stimulate the Economy

    Learn the logic behind the belief that reducing government income benefits everyone.
  3. Taxes

    Taxes: Who Pays And How Much?

    When it comes to taxes, the debate is endless on who pays what, especially in Congress. With no new initiatives in sight, let's take a look at who is paying now.
  4. Insights

    A Concise History Of Changes In U.S. Tax Law

    We look at how U.S. taxes have changed since their inception.
  5. Taxes

    Understanding Taxes

    Taxes are mandatory fees that individuals and corporations must pay to their governments.
  6. Taxes

    What All the Candidates’ Tax Plans Are Missing

    The presidential candidates have starkly different tax-reform proposals – but none of them gets to the real problem of America's tax system.
  7. Taxes

    5 State Tax Issues For When You Leave the Military

    When you're budgeting for post-military life, certain state tax issues need to be considered.
  8. Taxes

    5 States Without Sales Tax

    Learn about the five states that do not charge sales taxes and about other taxes the states levy instead in order to generate revenue.
  9. Taxes

    Federal Tax Brackets

    Why do we have income tax brackets? What do they do for us? Read this to understand the basics and where to find your own bracket.
  10. Taxes

    Explaining Progressive Tax

    A progressive tax is a levy in a tax system where the tax rate increases as the taxable base increases.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the marginal tax rate system work?

    The marginal tax rate is the rate of tax that income earners incur on each additional dollar of income. As the marginal tax ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the differences between regressive, proportional and progressive taxes?

    Regressive taxes are those that have a greater impact on low-income individuals. A proportional tax or flat tax impacts low-, ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between a state income tax and a federal income tax?

    Learn the difference between state income tax and federal income tax based on tax rates, deductions, tax credits and taxable ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between the marginal tax rate system and a flat tax?

    Find out about the difference between marginal tax rates and flat taxes. Gain insights on both systems and the arguments ... Read Answer >>
  5. How does the effective tax rate for an individual differ from that of a corporation?

    Read about the effective tax rate for individuals when compared with the effective tax rate for corporations, including how ... Read Answer >>
  6. Is progressive tax the same thing as marginal tax rate?

    Learn how a marginal tax rate is a form of a progressive tax rate. Learn the pros and cons of such a tax policy and who may ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Block (Bitcoin Block)

    Blocks are files where data pertaining to the Bitcoin network is permanently recorded.
  2. Fintech

    Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century.
  3. Ex-Dividend

    A classification of trading shares when a declared dividend belongs to the seller rather than the buyer. A stock will be ...
  4. Debt Security

    Any debt instrument that can be bought or sold between two parties and has basic terms defined, such as notional amount (amount ...
  5. Taxable Income

    Taxable income is described as gross income or adjusted gross income minus any deductions, exemptions or other adjustments ...
  6. Chartered Financial Analyst - CFA

    A professional designation given by the CFA Institute (formerly AIMR) that measures the competence and integrity of financial ...
Trading Center