April 15th Income Tax Due
The first, known, written record of taxes dates back to ancient Egypt. Back then taxes were not paid in the form of money, but rather in items such as grain, livestock or oils. At the time there was a proverb, “You can have a lord, you can have a king, but the man to fear is the tax collector!”
From 1791 to 1802, the United States government was funded by internal taxes on alcohol, sugar, tobacco and slaves, to name a few. The cost of the War of 1812 brought about the nation’s first sales tax on gold, silverware and jewelry. Congress did away with all internal taxes in 1817, instead imposing tariffs on imported goods to provide funding for the government.
To support the Civil War, Congress enacted the nation’s first income tax law in 1862. It was a forerunner of our modern income tax in that it was based on the principle of progressive taxation.
The office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue was established in 1862. The Commissioner was given the power to levy and collect taxes, and the right to enforce the tax laws. The powers and authority remain very much the same today.
In 1868 Congress again focused its taxation efforts on tobacco and alcohol and in 1872 eliminated income tax. Income tax came back briefly again in 1894 and 1895.
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. law in 1913. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed the income of both individuals and corporations.
The 16th Amendment and April 15th go hand in hand.
Copyright © 2012 REAL Magazine
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