15 April, 2007

Here it comes again, April 15th, tax day. The history of the U.S. tax code is just as confusing as the code its self. It was first allowed for in the U.S. construction, in Article I Section 8 Clause 1 when congress is given the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises." (Source) Over the years our tax code has changed to adapt to different situations and different debts as well as a lack there of.

One of these times was during The War of 1812 the United Sates needed a tad bit more revenue to pay for the war. Taxes were in existence form 1791 to 1802 on spirits, carriages, sugar, tobacco, and slaves. In 1802 taxes were added on gold, silverware, jewelry, and watches. This also included tariffs which were relied on to run the nation after 1817 when all internal sales taxes were abolished. (Source)

Another was during The Civil War when on August 5, 1861 the United States Congress established the very first income based tax in the nations history. This was attached to the Revenue Act of 1861 this act established a 3% tax on all income above $800 on individuals inside the U.S. This was raised to 5% on individuals outside the U.S. These Taxes were rescinded in 1872, due to the lack of need for them.

The last major jump was when the 16th Amendment was ratified. It was ratified on February 3, 1913, and was not ratified by Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah. Just a few years after the amendment was in place the top rate rose to 77% during World War I and then returned to 25% after the war was over. (Source)

Over the many years this great nation has been established an income tax has been a relatively new idea, especially if we aren't paying for a war. The rates have been extremely high compared to where they are now (10%-35% for 2006)(Source). It is very unlikely we will ever see the Federal Income Tax eliminated due to great cost of being a world super-power. There is a direct connection in this country to the amount of taxes and the amount of power we can display. Yes we all hate this day but it is a very necessary check to write if you enjoy your freedom and protection.

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