We have a graduated tax system that basically ups the percentage of taxes paid as you increase your income. That, in and of itself, is unfair. If the tax rate was flat, then everyone would pay their “fair share.” But it is not.
Of course, we should not forget the many tax exemptions and loopholes that many well-to-do have access to, and make a difference for them far more than those in the lower tax brackets. Still, if fairness is desired, then all people – with no exceptions and exemptions – should pay the same percentage.
Fair tax systems that have been suggested as an alternative to our current system would be a way to tax those who slip through the cracks but still do business within our market. There are a number of folks who are off the radar, so-to-speak, who pay no taxes (those participating in an underground economy or illegals).
Sales taxes would help in that area, but the fairness would virtually stop there. It would be unfair to lower-income individuals to pay sales taxes because those folks use a greater proportion of their income having to buy things on the market (i.e. groceries, fuel, electronics, etc.). This means a fair tax would hit some harder than others based on one’s ability to invest and capitalize vs. the cost of living every day.
It is still far “fairer” to have a flat tax system than, especially, our graduated system we currently have in place.