Taxes are almost as old as the history of civilized society. At its core taxes make government and large swaths of society function. It is also one of the most talked about things in politics as it affects every single person, especially the federal income tax.

Notorious for the first real slap of how much an impact taxes have in your life, I’ve seen countless people get their first paycheck only to realize a significant portion of their gross net income was funneled into something called “Federal Income Tax.” For something that affects every single working American, it’s shocking that almost half of Americans don’t fully understand how federal income tax works. Every single legal American paycheck you get will be affected by Federal Income Tax for the rest of your life, so let’s spend 10 minutes explaining how much you have to pay and the basics of how federal income tax is calculated.

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