Definition for TAX

TAX, n. [Fr. taxe; Sp. tasa; It. tassa; from L. taxo, to tax. If from the Gr. ταξις, τασσω, the root was tago, the sense of which was to set, to thrust on. But this is doubtful. It may be allied to task.]

  1. A rate or sum of money assessed on the person or property of a citizen by government, for the use of the nation or state. Taxes, in free governments, are usually laid upon the property of citizens according to their income, or the value of their estates. Tax is a term of general import, including almost every species of imposition on persons or property for supplying the public treasury, as tolls, tribute, subsidy, excise, impost, or customs. But more generally, tax is limited to the sum laid upon polls, lands, houses, horses, cattle, professions and occupations. So we speak of a land tax, a window tax, a tax on carriages, &c. Taxes are annual or perpetual.
  2. A sum imposed on the persons and property of citizens to defray the expenses of a corporation, society, parish or company; as, a city tax, a county tax, a parish tax, and the like. So a private association may lay a tax on its members for the use of the association.
  3. That which is imposed; a burden. The attention that he gives to public business is a heavy tax on his time.
  4. Charge; censure. Clarendon.
  5. Task.

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