A charge or fee that a government imposes on a citizen or business is called a tax. Taxes help to pay for the services people (and businesses) receive from the government.

There are many different kinds of taxes—on purchases, property, and income, for example—but all tax money is meant to pay for things that benefit people in society. For example, in many places schools, road repairs, fire departments, and health care for elderly and disabled people are all paid for with money from taxes. As a verb, tax can either mean "impose a tax on" or "put a strain or burden on."

Definitions of tax
  1. noun
    charge against a citizen's person or property or activity for the support of government
    synonyms: revenue enhancement, taxation
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    single tax
    a system of taxation in which a tax is levied on a single commodity (usually land)
    income tax
    a personal tax levied on annual income
    capital gains tax
    a tax on capital gains
    capital levy
    a tax on capital or property
    departure tax
    a tax that is levied when you are departing a country by land or sea or air
    franchise tax
    a tax that is imposed by states on corporations; it depends both on the net worth of the corporation and on its net income attributable to activities within the state
    gift tax
    a tax imposed on transfers of property by gift during the lifetime of the giver
    direct tax
    a tax paid directly by the person or organization on whom it is levied
    indirect tax
    a tax levied on goods or services rather than on persons or organizations
    a tax levied on the basis of a fixed amount per person
    graduated tax, progressive tax
    any tax in which the rate increases as the amount subject to taxation increases
    proportional tax
    any tax in which the rate is constant as the amount subject to taxation increases
    degressive tax
    any tax in which the rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases
    a local tax on property (usually used in the plural)
    stamp duty, stamp tax
    a tax collected by requiring a stamp to be purchased and attached (usually on documents or publications)
    a tax toward paving streets
    transfer tax
    any tax levied on the passing of title to property
    special assessment
    an additional tax levied on private property for public improvements that enhance the value of the property
    bracket creep
    a movement into a higher tax bracket as taxable income increases
    estimated tax
    income tax paid periodically on income that is not subject to withholding taxes; based on the taxpayer's predicted tax liability
    a tax on employees and employers that is used to fund the Social Security system
    withholding, withholding tax
    income tax withheld from employees' wages and paid directly to the government by the employer
    land tax, property tax
    a capital tax on property imposed by municipalities; based on the estimated value of the property
    death duty, death tax, estate tax, inheritance tax
    a tax on the estate of the deceased person
    hidden tax
    a tax paid unwittingly by the consumer (such as ad valorem taxes)
    poll tax
    a tax of a fixed amount per person and payable as a requirement for the right to vote
    poor rates
    a local tax for the relief of the poor
    supertax, surtax
    an additional tax on certain kinds of income that has already been taxed
    duty, tariff
    a government tax on imports or exports
    excise, excise tax
    a tax that is measured by the amount of business done (not on property or income from real estate)
    type of:
    a charge imposed and collected
  2. verb
    levy a tax on
    “Clothing is not taxed in our state”
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    levy an excise tax on
    charge a tariff
    levy an extra tax on
    tax excessively
    type of:
    impose, levy
    charge and collect payment
  3. verb
    set or determine the amount of (a payment such as a fine)
    synonyms: assess
    charge (a person or a property) with a payment, such as a tax or a fine
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    type of:
    determine, set
    fix conclusively or authoritatively
  4. verb
    use to the limit
    “you are taxing my patience”
    synonyms: task
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    type of:
    extend, strain
    use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity
  5. verb
    make a charge against or accuse
    “They taxed him failure to appear in court”
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    type of:
    make an accusatory claim
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