Definition of tax in English:



  • 1A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.

    • ‘Corporations often negotiate down their tax liability in disputed transactions.’
    • ‘The administration established tariffs, which amounts to a tax on all consumers of steel.’
    • ‘All local governments in Kenya have taxing authority, including the right to levy a tax on property.’
    • ‘In short, the income tax was not initially a tax on wages, nor on the working class.’
    • ‘Both opposed income taxes, excise taxes, and taxes on wealth in general.’
    • ‘So you will not have to pay tax on the expenses that are reimbursed to you, and the company will be able to allow the costs against its tax.’
    • ‘More than two-thirds of those surveyed said higher-income workers should pay tax on all their wages.’
    • ‘The revenue from a tax on oil companies would then be passed directly to the motorist through cuts in fuel duty.’
    • ‘Thus a tax on rent may represent a violation of justice while a tax on other incomes does not.’
    • ‘There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent the States collecting their own income taxes (or taxes on services).’
    • ‘Increase the progressivity of the federal income tax, and finance Medicare through increased sin taxes, gas taxes, and general revenue.’
    • ‘Under the current method rates are increasingly becoming a wealth tax or a tax on assets held in the form of land.’
    • ‘Reliable means exist to project the potential revenue of existing taxes in this business cycle.’
    • ‘Second, lower prices for gasoline and other fuels are acting like a giant tax cut for both consumers and businesses.’
    • ‘Clearly, lower taxes reinforced the spending splurge that generated the explosion in indirect tax receipts allowing taxes to be cut further.’
    • ‘A carbon tax is a tax on the use of energy.’
    • ‘It would have replaced the corporate income tax with a tax on the net return to capital for all businesses.’
    • ‘Doing so will decrease their total tax bill on personal income when compared to reasonable salary levels.’
    • ‘The empirical results indicate that a tax cut produces revenue and incentives to save.’
    • ‘The general property tax was thus a tax on rent of land and the interest from its associated capital.’
    levy, tariff, duty, toll, excise, impost, contribution, assessment, tribute, tithe, charge, fee
    View synonyms
  • 2in singular A strain or heavy demand.

    ‘a heavy tax on the reader's attention’
    • ‘The only tax on the reader's mind is to remember as many facts as possible.’
    burden, load, weight, encumbrance, demand, strain, pressure, stress, drain, imposition
    View synonyms


  • 1Impose a tax on (someone or something)

    ‘hardware and software is taxed at 7.5 percent’
    • ‘Otherwise the profits are taxed at the full rate.’
    • ‘When you invest corporately, your earnings are initially taxed at very high rates.’
    • ‘If your fund is worth more than the limit you could in future be taxed at 25% of the excess taken as income, or 55% on a lump sum.’
    • ‘I am a full-time engineering student and even my part-time work at a local supermarket is taxed at 50 per cent.’
    • ‘Dividends are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.’
    • ‘My understanding is that I am then taxed at my marginal rate of income tax on any capital gain.’
    • ‘If one partner leaves the other his estate, it is taxed at the full death tax rate.’
    • ‘Interest income and short-term capital gains are still taxed at rates up to 35%.’
    • ‘At the end of five years, only interest earned and capital gains are taxed at 23 per cent, in line with the tax treatment of other investment funds.’
    • ‘This can represent a significant tax saving, compared with an ordinary share option scheme where the option is generally exempt, but the gain is taxed at income tax rates.’
    • ‘Owners of second homes who do not live permanently on the island are taxed at £2,060 a year for houses of up to 2,153 sq ft within two miles of the shore.’
    • ‘At present, land is taxed at a higher rate than improvements only in the counties of Hawaii and Kauai.’
    • ‘In companies like ours, the profit is taxed at the corporation rate.’
    • ‘I'd venture to guess that every form of income is taxed at least twice, and maybe three or four times.’
    • ‘Profits from unincorporated businesses are taxed at 15 percent.’
    • ‘Under current law, such withdrawals are taxed at the student's tax rate.’
    • ‘In Ireland, a capital gain is generally taxed at 20 per cent, with the first £1,000 being exempt.’
    • ‘Chip sales are taxed at 17 per cent in China, but local manufacturers can claim up to 14 per cent of the levy back.’
    • ‘Your taxable lump sum is taxed at your marginal rate of tax, either 20 per cent or 42 per cent.’
    • ‘All the business' earnings and profits are taxed at the personal level of the shareholders/owners.’
    levy a tax on, impose a toll on, charge duty on, exact a tax on, demand a tax on
    View synonyms
  • 2Make heavy demands on (someone's powers or resources)

    ‘she knew that the ordeal to come would tax all her strength’
    • ‘Radeschi said the community's resources have been taxed by dealing with troubled youth.’
    • ‘I am not condoning corporal punishment but some sympathy must go out to the teacher whose patience must have been taxed to the limit and which seems to have snapped.’
    • ‘Suffice to say, China will tax both the group's idealism and its stamina.’
    • ‘You will definitely have to earn it, though, because I will often tax every physical and mental resource that you possess.’
    • ‘With resources taxed and false rumors howling, misinformation was rarely spread by the news media.’
    • ‘His battle with nature will end up taxing all his resourcefulness and overturning his usual elegance.’
    • ‘The influx of refugees and displaced persons taxed the already stretched resources of States.’
    • ‘The need to properly categorize, inventory and secure the massive number of garments and shoes must have taxed their resources and creativity.’
    • ‘And director Jasper Bagg takes on the title role with energy and commitment, though sometimes its sheer weight seems to be taxing his powers to the limit.’
    • ‘The problem of what to do with clapped-out electronic equipment continues to tax the EU's best minds.’
    • ‘Second, the solution did not tax an already overburdened division transportation resource.’
    • ‘The transition to a 3D world certainly taxes the Xbox's power but the game world is particularly vacuous.’
    strain, stretch, put a strain on, make demands on, weigh heavily on, weigh down
    View synonyms
  • 3Confront (someone) with a fault or wrongdoing.

    ‘why are you taxing me with these preposterous allegations?’
    • ‘Tax me with my crimes!’
    confront, accuse, call to account, charge, blame, censure, condemn, denounce
    View synonyms
  • 4Law
    Examine and assess (the costs of a case)

    • ‘The applicant is to pay the costs of the respondent of the summons on an indemnity basis, such costs to be taxed forthwith.’
    • ‘Where the outcome of the Legal Proceedings is not a Success the Insurer shall have the right to have the Insured's Solicitor's bills taxed or assessed on the standard basis.’
    • ‘Pursuant to that order the defendants taxed their costs and applied for payment, despite the fact that the action had not been determined.’
    • ‘It was not the case for either side that I should split the issue into parts and so resolve the position, nor was it the case that I should attempt to tax or assess the costs.’
    • ‘It was decided to do this by ordering those costs to be taxed on the indemnity basis.’


Middle English (also in the sense ‘estimate or determine the amount of a penalty or damages’, surviving in tax (sense 4 of the verb)): from Old French taxer, from Latin taxare ‘to censure, charge, compute’, perhaps from Greek tassein ‘fix’.