Boortz Clarifies "Keep 100% of Your Paycheck"
In recent weeks, a number of people (including Brad Warbiany, Pat Regnier, and many others) have raised the question, “How much of their gross income will employees actually keep under the FairTax plan?”
The full explanation is worth reading, but here’s the meat of it:
Now here’s what we didn’t explain well in the book. Every employee of any company involved in American commerce is also a provider of a service, and, as such, the employee incurs a tax liability as a result of his or her work. This tax liability is incorporated into what the employee charges the employer for their services, and is eventually incorporated into the final retail cost of the employer’s product or service. Each employee is essentially a separate business entity providing a product, be it physical or mental labor, to the employer.
The extensive research behind HR 25, The FairTax Bill, shows that the average embedded taxes in every consumer product or service is about 22%. In some industries, such as leather goods, the embedded tax is smaller. In other industries, such as homebuilding and construction, the embedded tax is higher, but it averages out to somewhere between 22 and 23%. With the passage of The FairTax Bill, those embedded taxes disappear. These embedded taxes include the combined tax burdens of all entities involved in bringing those goods or services to market, and that includes you, the employee, and the taxes you incur as a result of your employment.
We write in The FairTax Book that the competitive pressures of the marketplace will force prices down when embedded taxes disappear from the cost of retail goods and services, and we cite 22% as the average amount of those embedded taxes. Does this 22% include the income and payroll taxes that are paid by employees? Yes, it does. So … what does this mean to your paycheck after the FairTax becomes law?
When the FairTax is implemented, and when business and personal income and payroll taxes disappear, your employer is going to have to make a decision. He will either take some or the entire amount he had been withholding for federal income and payroll taxes and add it to your weekly check, or he will readjust your pay figures so that your entire paycheck will be equal to what you used to call “take home pay” before the FairTax. The employer may also decide to do a little of both. Either way, you can see that the amount of money you actually receive as pay â€“ the amount you can put into your bank account â€“ will not decrease, and may actually increase.
On a larger scale real wages will rise to the extent to which the nation’s employers decide to return the embedded costs of their employee’s income and payroll taxes to the employee. Likewise, the cost of the products or services produced by the employer will be reduced to the extent to which that employer retains all or a portion of those income and payroll taxes together with the other taxes on capital and labor eliminated by the FairTax. Once again, a zero-sum, revenue neutral game.
Now, let’s elaborate on the “keep 100% of your paycheck” line that appears in The FairTax Book. It is certainly true that after the FairTax becomes law there will be no more withholding from your paycheck for any federal taxes. What you earn is what you get. This is not to say that your gross pay will equal what it was before the FairTax. This will depend on what your employer does when the embedded costs represented by the tax burden you have passed on to your employer disappear. One thing is certain: You will suffer no decrease in real or net earnings — the amount of each paycheck you deposit into your bank account every other week. The “keep 100% of your paycheck” concept can more easily be applied to those who either change jobs or come into the labor force after the implementation of the FairTax. A new worker will negotiate a wage with an employer knowing that the amount negotiated will be the amount that worker receives every two weeks … no deductions. Likewise, when you change employers you, too, will negotiate a wage that will not be subject to withholding, and you will get 100% of your wages in each paycheck.
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