tax·​pay·​er | \ ˈtaks-ˌpā-ər How to pronounce taxpayer (audio) \

Definition of taxpayer

: one that pays or is liable for a tax

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Examples of taxpayer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The system cost $34 million to develop and get running, but the Army believes that automating the entire process will be safer and save taxpayers money over the life of the program. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army Is Using Robots to Dismantle Hazardous Rockets," 26 Feb. 2019 Until recent times these family members were funded by the taxpayer. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "How Queen Elizabeth's Fortune Is Divided Among the Members of the Royal Family," 16 Feb. 2019 Expansions like this can be both a boon and a burden for cities; on one hand, thousands of high-paying new jobs and taxpayers are desirable and present new opportunities for smart investment. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple will spend $1 billion and hire up to 15,000 people for new Austin office," 13 Dec. 2018 Good news for the British taxpayer, because, as anyone who has ever done up a home in or near London knows, that process can cost a queen’s ransom. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "How Queen Elizabeth's Fortune Is Divided Among the Members of the Royal Family," 16 Feb. 2019 Currently, the cost is unknown—but the since the renovations will be paid for by the taxpayer, those numbers will be made available later this year. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Inside Frogmore Cottage, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s New Windsor Home," 26 Nov. 2018 The shelter, the state’s first exclusively funded by taxpayers, opened in late January. Stephen Hudak,, "Orange County's crisis shelter for human-trafficking victims is full — and that may be a good thing," 12 July 2018 The City of New York, taxpayers, own the public school system of New York City. David W. Chen, New York Times, "‘A Huge Blind Spot’: Why New York Asians Feel Overlooked," 4 July 2018 House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on the return of taxpayers' funds seized under civil assets forfeiture. Renae Merle, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Trump's CFPB nominee is facing questions about the immigration controversy," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taxpayer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of taxpayer

1797, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near taxpayer






tax refund

tax selling

Statistics for taxpayer

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taxpayer

The first known use of taxpayer was in 1797

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More Definitions for taxpayer



Financial Definition of taxpayer

What It Is

A taxpayer is a person or organization that must pay taxes to a federal, state, or local agency.

How It Works

For example, let's assume that Jane is an employee of Company XYZ. She earns $150,000 per year.

In addition to paying federal income taxes, unemployment taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes, Jane will likely owe state and local income taxes, all of which will be withheld from her paycheck. When she receives her after-tax paycheck, she might spend it on gas for her car, groceries, clothes and utilities, all of which trigger more tax payments (in the form of sales, excise, gas and other taxes).

Why It Matters

Virtually every human being in America is a taxpayer at some point, even if he or she does not file an IRS Form 1040 or pay federal income taxes. People pay taxes when they pay their phone bills, buy airline tickets, use toll roads, buy gasoline, rent hotel rooms, get a fishing license or engage in other everyday activities. Children even pay sales taxes when they buy candy with allowance money.

It is important to note that for tax purposes, business entities are also taxpayers, which means their revenues and expenditures are subject to taxation.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of taxpayer

: a person who pays taxes


tax·​pay·​er | \ ˈtaks-ˌpā-ər How to pronounce taxpayer (audio) \

Kids Definition of taxpayer

: a person who pays or is responsible for paying a tax

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Legal Definition of taxpayer

: a person (as an individual or corporation) that pays or is liable for a tax

Other Words from taxpayer

taxpaying adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on taxpayer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with taxpayer

Spanish Central: Translation of taxpayer

Nglish: Translation of taxpayer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taxpayer for Arabic Speakers

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