The tax that all wage earners are required to pay to the federal government is the federal income tax. This tax is required by law to be paid for all of those who receive wages throughout the calendar year. The amount specified relies entirely on one's income throughout the year, but is split into various tax brackets. These tax brackets are broken up by your relative strength of salary. Here are some examples: - $418,000+ salary/year = approximately 40% taxable income - $191,000 - $400,000 salary/year = approximately 33% taxable income - $38,000 - $91,000 salary/year = approximately 25% taxable income A person receiving $85,000 as a salary would be forced to pay $21,250 of that total to the federal and state governments.