Taxpayers should reconsider who the real recipients of their Valentine's Day gifts are this year.
Of the $17 billion consumers are expected to spend this Valentine's Day, Americans for Tax Reform, a group dedicated to the implementation of a national flat tax, estimates more than 30 percent will go back to Uncle Sam.
This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $125 per person on Valentine's Day goodies for their loved ones, an 8 percent increase since last year meaning more money for the government.
The roses, dinner, chocolates and greeting cards Americans buy their sweethearts will yield nearly $6 billion for the government this year. [Read the U.S. News debate: Should the payroll tax cuts be extended?]
In a similar analysis of winter holidays, Americans for Tax Reform reported in December that the government made $11 billion in tax revenue from holiday spending.
The group says the government takes a sizeable "bite" out of the chocolates enjoyed by taxing consumers more than 30 percent in international tariffs, corporate income taxes and other fees for the tempting treats.
Jewelry is an especially lucrative gift for the government, with more than 35 percent of the cost of gold and diamonds tied up in government taxation. The fake stuff costs more, with knock-off bling taxed an extra 6 percent. [See photos of the 2012 Republican field.]
"Valentine's Day is usually a time to reflect on that special someone in your life," Americans for Tax Reform spokesman John Kartch writes. "However, with government making up 33.14 percent of the cost for the holiday, it may mean it's time for taxpayers and government to spend some time apart."
Check out some ways the government cashes in:
Clothing- $5 million
Flowers and Greeting Cards - $1.1 billion.
Dinner Out- $3.2 billion
Weekend Getaway including hotel and rental car - $1.3 billion