Taxes are hidden in many ways. For example, you see the payroll taxes that are deducted from your payroll check each pay period. What you do not see are the taxes that your employer pays. For example, in addition to income tax, your employer pays half of the Social Security tax as well as unemployment tax on your wages. Like all costs paid by your employer, these taxes get passed on to you as an employee (as a factor in compensation paid), as well as to shareholders and to clients and customers. And if you’re receiving dividends from a corporation, keep in mind that taxes have already been paid on that income.
But most hidden taxes are paid by consumers. Sometimes these taxes are disguised as fees, surcharges, tariffs, duties, assessments, dues, excises, levies, licenses, and tolls, among others. And sometimes they’re simply rolled into the price of goods and services and are either completely undisclosed or they appear somewhere in the fine print, which is often left unread by the consumer.