Though the actual definitions vary between jurisdictions, in general, a direct tax is a tax imposed upon a person or property as distinct from a tax imposed upon a transaction, which is described as an indirect tax. There is a distinction between direct and indirect tax depending on whether the tax payer is the actual taxpayer or if the amount of tax is supported by a third party, usually a client. The term may be used in economic and political analyses, but does not itself have any legal implications. However, in the United States, the term has special constitutional significance because of a provision in the U.S. Constitution that any direct taxes imposed by the national government be apportioned among the states on the basis of population. In the European Union direct taxation remains the sole responsibility of member states.
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