Tax has an extremely long-established history. The ancient Egyptians appointed Tax Masters who increased the burden on the Children of Israel - slaves under Egyptian domination.
As a general rule, tax is the source that is best exploited by government.
It is imposed on individuals and companies to finance services that the State is obligated to provide and to meet its goals.
On extremely rare occasions, governments have used sources other than tax; for instance, income from natural resources.
However, as a general rule, most governments use the collection of taxes as the main tool for financing their expenses.
Tax is divided into two main categories, progressive and regressive taxes.
Progressive tax is graduated and its rate varies according to the taxpayer's income.
Regressive tax is a tax at a fixed rate irrespective of the taxpayer's income.
For example, sales tax is imposed on sales, at a fixed rate, on rich and poor alike.
It is regressive in that it is a tax that is proportionally greater on the income of a poor man than that of a rich man.
Taxes - Sex and WarWhen you are at a meeting with the tax authorities, it is reasonable to appear suitably dressed in an attempt to persuade the tax authorities of the justice of your arguments.
At best, you will succeed in persuading them.
At worst, you will be required to pay taxes in excess of those you had expected to pay.
But in the worst possible case, if you are guilty of a tax crime, you will be severely penalized.
Throughout history, the collection of taxes has had interesting results.
In the year 60 A.D. the Queen of East England rebelled against corrupt tax collectors.
The Queen succeeded in recruiting 230,000 warriors to fight the war, and when it was over, some 80,000 men had been killed.
In 1369, the reason for the renewal of the 100 Years War between England and France was the rebellion of the nobility against the tax policy of Edward, the Black Prince.
An original method of fighting the tax authorities was adopted by the Englishwoman, Lady Godiva.
In the 11th century, Lady Godiva successfully reduced the tax assessment on her husband, the Earl of Mercia, by riding naked on a white horse through the streets of Coventry.
|1377||Britain||Imposition of a poll tax|
|1643||Britain||Imposition of customs on basic commodities|
|1764||USA||Imposition of customs duty on beer and wine|
|1765||USA||"Stamp duty" imposed on newspapers and official documents.|
|1812||USA||The first income tax in the United States. It was to finance the war.|
|1862||USA||The Income Tax Law (signed by Lincoln). The object of the tax - to finance the Civil War|
|1913||USA||The 16th Amendment- that enables Congress to collect tax from any suitable source - was drafted.|