Happy 100th Birthday: Modern Income Tax Turns 100
Our current tax system was created 100 years ago this month with the ratification of the 16th Amendment. Before formalized income taxes the government received most of its income from tariffs and “sin taxes” (taxes things like alcohol and tobacco).
Income tax was intended as a tool to more proportionally distribute the tax burden across lower, middle and upper classes. It was also intended to generate revenue for the federal government.
The 16th Amendment wasn't the first time the US employed a federal income tax. During the Civil War a tax system was established to help fund war efforts. However, it expired at the end of the conflict in 1865.
Since 1913, the current tax system has evolved in ways that would have been unimaginable 100 years ago. Can you imagine what our ancestors would have thought of tax breaks for hybrid cars? Nevertheless, the basic premise of the tax code has remained the same. And arguments over the fairness of income taxes have existed since its inception.
Life Inc. on Today has rounded up a list of 100 quotes about our society’s love-hate relationship with the tax system.
Some of our favorite:
“The only difference between the tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.” - Mark Twain
“The income tax has made more liars out of more Americans than golf.”- Will Rogers
“I have always paid income tax. I object only when it reaches a stage when I am threatened with having nothing left for my old age — which is due to start next Tuesday or Wednesday.” — Noel Coward
Find the entire 100 quotes here.
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