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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Revenues versus tax collections

A recent blog post on LinkedIn's Sales and Use Tax Legislative Updates included a comment from B.J. Pritchett suggesting that what governments collect in taxes should not be called "revenues" because it is not from selling goods and services.  She was responding to a post by me.  I think B.J. makes an excellent point.  It will take some doing though to get the terminology changed.  Here are some examples of use of "revenues" in describing tax collections:
  • IRS data on "tax revenues"  
  • U.S. Census Bureau data on state and local tax revenues (they sometimes use the term "tax collections")
"Tax collections" sounds more appropriate; leave "revenues" to describe receipts from rendering services or selling goods (which some government programs do collect).

What do you think?

Information from U.S. Census Bureau

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