How much tax do we really pay?

Item Rate Notes
Federal personal income tax 17%
(2011 est. - 18.2%)
Top 39.6% rate. Source
State & local income taxes 10.1%
(2012 - 9.9%)
State taxes range from 6.5% to 12.6%. Local taxes run from zero to 2.75%. Source,  source,  source,  2012 source
Sales tax 9.7%
(2009 - 10.3%)
Figure is the average rate. State sales taxes range up to 8% and local taxes run from zero to over 5%. In 2010, state and local collections averaged $925 per capita.Source,  source,  2008 source (broken link as of 2012),  2009 source  2011 source
Social security & Medicare 7.65% Total rate is actually 15.3% since half is paid by the employer, but we're ignoring that to be kind and to avoid being accused of being too political.
Federal and state corporate income tax share 2.5% Based on corporate taxes being approximately 1/6 of personal taxes, and that they are paid by individuals in the final analysis.
Property tax 2.5%
(2011 - 2.8%)
Yearly average actual costs range from under $200 in Alaska to almost $1900 in New Jersey. State and local property taxes in fiscal 2010 averaged $1424 per capita, with a low of $539 in Alabama to $2819 in New Jersey) per the Tax Foundation. Source
Fuel/gasoline tax .5%
(2009 est. - .6%)
Approximately 23% of the 2005 gasoline price is for federal & state taxes. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. Per the CPI, about 6% of the average budget is for transportation. Estimated. 2010 estimate, $.45 per gallon average. As of January 1, 2013, the lowest rate was 8 cents per gallon in Alaska and the highest was 50.6 cents in New York per the Tax Foundation.Source
Other 6%+
(2009-2013 - 8%+)
Includes estate tax, fees, licenses, real inflation losses, inheritance, deficit allowance, gift, and others noted below. Estimated.

Here is what happened on January 1st 2014:

Top Income Tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%
Top Income Payroll Tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%
Capital Gains Tax went from 15% to 28%
Dividend Tax went from 15% to 39.6%

Total tax percentage potentially paid by the well above average US citizen, 2005 - 53.2% *

Total tax percentage potentially paid by the well above average US citizen, 2013 est. - 58.5% *

* The total average tax paid is closer to 43%, since the figures above do not distinguish between taxes on gross and net income, nor do they adjust for tax planning and many other factors. Note also that the Tax Foundation's numbers are closer to 30% for the actual "average" US citizen, although items like inflation, employer's share of Social Security and Medicare, and various fee estimates are not included to the best of our knowledge.

Your real tax rate is higher than you think

Note 1: Inflation effects are likely quite understated - if actual inflation is 6% and one is only earning 4%. the tax rate is not the main issue.

Note 2: A major factor that intentionally isn't covered (for political reasons) is a fuller picture of medical care and taxes. Most of health care is paid by the employer as of 2011 and results in a higher tax rate overall - we estimate it as at least 5%.

Note 3: This page is not intended to be definitive and completely accurate on tax rates and issues - to do so would be virtually impossible considering all the factors. Its primarily intended to show a fuller picture than is normally presented.

A partial list of the various ways in which citizens of the US are taxed:

Oil industry profits are less than the taxes they pay

History of Federal Individual Income Tax Rates

Income & corporate taxes by state

State tax rates

taxes paid

Source: Tax Freedom Day from the Tax Foundation

taxes, corp vs. individual