18 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Taxes

America’s tax law is extremely difficult and complex, which is why it’s perfect for some very interesting, and sometimes very strange, tax facts. And even if for many of us tax time is a bittersweet process, these fun facts about taxes will fix your frowning forehead.

Read on to discover them!

Photo by enciktepstudio from Shutterstock

1. Taxes go way back

Did you know that governments have actually imposed taxes for thousands of years? As a matter of fact, there are some records of tax payments made in the ancient history of Mesopotamian civilizations circa 2500 B.C. At that time, people who didn’t have money or enough money to pay taxes often had to pay with livestock, food, or labor.

2. We actually tried a flat tax

The country’s tax laws have been present in our lives for many generations and remain so to this day. But did you know that the first income tax in the United States came about with the Revenue Act of 1861 signed by Abraham Lincoln?

A flat 3 percent tax on income above $800 was actually used to fund the Civil War and repealed 11 years later. However, back in 1894, a new flat federal income tax was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was not until the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 that the federal income tax finally stuck for good.

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