The taxes paid by the nation’s family units to the federal, state and local governments amounted to 25 per cent of total family income in 1980. 1 Strong views are held as to whether the burden of these taxes is distributed fairly by income class or among persons with substantially equal incomes. Some believe that the tax system is regressive; others consider it to be progressive. 3 Still others are concerned not only about the equity of the tax system across income classes (vertical equity), but also about its equity among those with the same income (horizontal equity). To a large extent, the debate has centred on the individual income tax, which is the largest source of government revenue in the United States. Even though the other taxes account for more than twice the revenue produced by the individual income tax, the distribution of these taxes by income classes is not generally known. Nor is it generally known if the tax system as a whole has become more or less progressive in recent years. The purpose of this study is to estimate the effect of all US taxes on the distribution of income, and how this distribution has changed in the last two decades.