The 2018 IRS Data Book is Available

The book is published annually and contains statistics and other information. It can be found here:

The focus of this blog is the categories that make up the total tax collected. During 2018 the IRS collected nearly $3.5 trillion from more than 250 million tax returns. They also issued nearly $464 billion in refunds. The money amounts presented below are in thousands of dollars.

  • 2,402,897,198 Individual income tax withheld and FICA tax
  • 648,656,961 Individual income tax payments and SECA tax
  • 8,806,553 Unemployment insurance tax
  • 6,324,061 Railroad retirement tax
  • 38,455,955 Estate and trust tax
  • 3,105,140,728 Subtotal – Individual, employment, estate and trust
  • 262,742,024 Business income taxes
  • 22,664,503 Estate tax
  • 1,201,166 Gift tax
  • 73,718,206 Excise taxes
  • 3,465,466,627 Total Internal Revenue collections

The individual withholding and FICA are from W-2 employees. Withheld tax is self evident and reported in box 2 of your W-2. FICA is the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and represents the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from your paycheck and reported in boxes 4 and 6 on your W-2.

SECA stands for the Self Employment Contributions Act. Sole proprietors or workers who are partners in a formal partnership report and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (called self employment taxes) along with their income taxes instead of having them withheld from a paycheck. These calculations are made and paid on their individual tax returns.

You might be interested in the fact that the two aforementioned categories represent (in thousands) $3,051,554,159 of the $3,465,466,627 total. That means the amount of U.S. tax revenue that flows through from individual tax returns in 2018 was approximately 88.1% of the total.