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Economic Definition of tax incidence. Defined.

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Term tax incidence Definition: The ultimate payment of a tax. Many taxes are initially paid by one person, but passed along through production and consumption activities until it finally reaches someone else. An obvious example is the sales tax. While officially paid by the retail store (they write the check to the government), it's tacked on to the prices paid by consumers. Consumers, thus, bear the lion's share of most sales taxes. The incidence of other taxes is not quite so obvious. Some taxes are paid by producers early in production such as severance taxes on oil extraction without the knowledge of consumers, who end up paying through higher prices. As a general rule taxes are passed through the system until they reach someone (usually consumers) who can pass it no further.

 

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