12 Fun Facts You Should Know About Tax

Taxation is a serious legal matter. No matter how much you want to avoid taxes, you can’t get rid of them. But these tax facts may let you have some fun.
Animated image showing a person arrested for tax evasion

Tax and taxation have been around for ages. Even if no one likes it, everyone has to pay taxes. But did you know that in ancient times people paid taxes with labor, in medieval times one had to pay tax to keep a beard, and in the present times witches too have to pay taxes! Here are some fun and facts to make light of the heavy word “tax.” ~ Ed.

12 Fun Facts You Should Know About Tax

Tax? Well, if you are a business owner, you cannot really avoid it. If you plan to become international tax accountant, you will still deal with it.

As you probably know, Tax Day occurs once a year. However, staying on top of it feels like an all-year-round job. So, if you want to lighten your mood about taxes, these fun facts about taxes are for you!


Taxation Overview 

Whether you are a business owner or a tax professional, it’s a sure thing that you have already heard and dealt with taxation. But, what does taxation exactly mean?

Taxation refers to the compulsory charges’ imposition on units or individuals by governments. Besides the change and death, tax is among the permanent things in the world.

Tax Fun Facts You Should Know

Tax seems like a complicated matter. However, it still offers fantastic and fun facts. Once you discovered these fun facts, hearing and dealing with taxes become less stressful and daunting.

Thousands of years ago, ancient governments started using tax systems. Based on the tax payments recordings, taxation started in ancient Mesopotamia in 2500 B.C. If people had no money to pay their taxes during that time, they had to pay it with labor, food, or livestock!

Let’s come back to the present era and in the USA. According to the IRS, 16 hours is the average time to complete the form 1040, seven hours for the 1010A form, and five hours for 1040EZ forms. Overall, they spend 13 hours per day on these forms. They processed over 154 million tax returns in 2014.

Besides Eritrea, the United States requires the citizens to pay income taxes if they live and work overseas. That is why many wealthy people renounced their citizenship and moved to other countries to avoid income tax payments.

Below are some of the many fun facts about tax that you should know:

The First Taxes Caused A Rebellion in the United States 

Are you a Broadway musical “Hamilton” fan? For sure, you are familiar with the “Imagine what gon’ happen when you try to tax our whiskey” lyric. The Whiskey Rebellion occurred because Alexander Hamilton tried to impose a tax on whiskey.

25% Federal Withholding Tax Is Subjected on Over $5,000 Lottery Prize 

Do you always try your luck in the lottery? If you won over the $5,000 lottery prize, you are subjected to a 25% federal withholding tax. However, the state withholding tax varies. If you live in Delaware or California, you are not subjected to any withholding rate. However, if you live in Maryland, you need to deal with an 8.75% withholding rate. When you file a return, you need to pay additional taxes.

Buyers of Urine Paid Taxes in Roman Times 

Ammonia and urine were collected and used for laundering and tanning in Roman Times. Roman Emperor Vespasian required urine buyers from public urinals to pay taxes. Today, the “urinal” words in Romania, Italian, and French are derived from the Roman emperor’s name.

April 15 Was Not the Original Tax Day 

March 1 was set by the lawmakers as the Tax Day during the model federal income tax establishment. The reason behind it is to give people several months to crunch the numbers and gather paperwork after the year-end.

Witches, Astrologers, and Fortunetellers Are Part of Labor Code in Romania

In 2011, the labor code in Romania added witches, astrologers, and fortunetellers. This means they need to pay taxes on their income and contribute to the social programs. While some witches consider the income tax payment a way to legitimate their work, others cast curses on the government.

Residents in England Pay a TV License Fee

If you live in England, you probably know that you need to get and pay a license fee for each of your TV at home. The money collected from the annual fees is used to fund the BBC. For a black-and-white TV, you have to pay 50.50 pounds. If you have a color TV, the cost is 150.50 pounds.

Peter the Great of Russia Taxed Beards 

Peter, the Great of Russia, was the man behind the beard tax in 1698. Initially, he was against beards. However, he decided to make money out of it. While facial hair was allowed, people had to pay tax. Merchants and nobility were the people who were mainly charged more than the commoners.

Poet Henry David Thoreau was Imprisoned After He Failed Paying Taxes 

In 1846, Henry David Thoreau was sent to jail because he failed to pay the poll tax. This tax type referred to a tax every individual needed to pay no matter what their income was. The tax also functioned as a factor for discriminating the poor citizens. The reason why he did not pay the poll tax was to protest slavery in the country.

A Special Hat Tax Used to Exist in England 

Is a hat part of your fashion statement? It’s a good thing that you live in the present time because you do not need to pay a hat tax. Citizens in England used to pay a hat tax from 1784 to 1811. The inside of their hats had a stamp pasted to prove they already paid the tax.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln Introduced the Federal Income Tax 

In 1861, the Revenue Act was signed by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. The act imposed the first federal income tax. He and the Congress established a 3% tax on more than $800 income, which is about $23,000 in the present day.


IRS Commissioner Joseph Nunan was Sent to Jail Due to Tax Evasion 

Believe it or not, a former IRS commissioner Joseph Nunan went to prison for a $90,000 tax evasion case. He was sentenced to five-year imprisonment.

New Mexico Gives a Centenarian Tax Break 

Living in New Mexico for at least a century gives you the privilege to enjoy a tax break. In other words, you do not have to pay any state taxes.

Over to you

While taxation sounds stressful, the fun facts above provide a break. We hope that you discovered an exciting way to get familiar with taxes. If you know some more fun facts, let us know in the comments!


Disclaimer: Though the views expressed are of the author’s own, this article has been checked for its authenticity of information and resource links provided for a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter. However, you're suggested to make your diligent research and consult subject experts to decide what is best for you. If you spot any factual errors, spelling, or grammatical mistakes in the article, please report at [email protected]. Thanks.

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